Republican gets into shouting match with Planned Parenthood executive

Greg Nash

The chairman of the House Freedom Caucus broke into a shouting match with the head of Planned Parenthood in the most heated exchange so far in Tuesday’s hearing.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) sparred with Planned Parenthood President and CEO Cecile Richards about her apology this summer after her organization was first targeted in an undercover video concerning its practice of fetal tissue donation.

Richards delivered an apology in a video statement in July, two days after the anti-abortion group, The Center for Medical Progress, first released secretly recorded footage of a Planned Parenthood executive.

“This is unacceptable, and I personally apologize for the staff member’s tone and statements,” Richards said of the group’s medical director, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, who had been filmed in a disturbingly candid discussion about fetal tissue donation in between bites of salad and sips of wine.

Jordan, one of the most vocal advocates in the House for defunding Planned Parenthood, repeatedly demanded that Richards elaborate on her apology.

“What were you apologizing for,” he asked, raising his voice.

“That she, in my judgment, had a clinical discussion …” Richards said, before being interrupted by Jordan.

“Which statements were you apologizing for?” Jordan asked again, becoming impatient.

“It was really the situation she was in,” Richards said.

“That raises an important question — so is what you said in your video untrue? You weren’t really apologizing for the statements made? You can’t say, ‘I’m apologizing for statements in one video,’ and then not tell us what those statements were,” Jordan said.


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