Republican hearings on Planned Parenthood missing just one thing: Planned Parenthood

Republican lawmakers are set to hold hearings concerning all of the not-illegal fetal tissue research that Planned Parenthood has not been profiting from. The GOP is pushing for a vote to defund the organization — a move that could very well lead to a government shutdown in the near future. Riding a wave of fundraising and conservative angst after the Center for Medical Progress released a series of doctored “sting” videos suggesting that members of the organization were selling aborted fetus parts for a profit (they weren’t), these hearings are being billed as an inquiry into the organization, its practices and the allegations against it.

Except the hearings will be missing one crucial component: anyone from Planned Parenthood itself. From the Guardian:

The House judiciary committee will hear from “experts on the issues surrounding the alleged acts of Planned Parenthood”, including two women described as “abortion survivors”, but declined to invite representatives from the women’s healthcare organization.

Planned Parenthood, via Fibonacci Blue / Flickr

Planned Parenthood, via Fibonacci Blue / Flickr

Because who would want to hear from the organization that’s being investigated? It’s not like they haven’t already been cleared of any and all wrongdoing by every state that’s looked into their handling of fetal tissue research. Except that’s exactly what it’s like.

Eleven states have launched investigations into Planned Parenthood since the first “sting” video dropped, despite the fact that Planned Parenthood only conducts fetal tissue research in three states. Thus far, every one of those investigations that have concluded anything have concluded that the organization did nothing wrong. If Republicans in Congress bothered to invite people to their hearings who weren’t dead-set on shuttering Planned Parenthood’s doors forever — maybe, perhaps, someone from the organization itself — they might figure that out.

Mitch McConnell has already admitted that he doesn’t have the votes to pass a bill that defunds Planned Parenthood. Which doesn’t matter, because President Obama has already promised to veto that bill if it does pass. So I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that hearings about bills that won’t pass, designed to stop crimes that didn’t take place, won’t be informed by the people who are being accused of wrongdoing they didn’t do.

In case anyone was wondering if Republicans fell into the “governing trap,” don’t worry. They didn’t.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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14 Responses to “Republican hearings on Planned Parenthood missing just one thing: Planned Parenthood”

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  3. Ol' Hippy says:

    Just more of the same. H.L. Mencken said “if elections actually meant anything, they would be illegal”.

    This was more than 70 years ago, nothing has changed, it’s only gotten worse. So go and watch the zoo and hope that we all don’t get annihilated in a war ’cause Jesus is coming any day now after the planet is destroyed. That these people want to run this country and I’m scared to death these bigots might be elected.

  4. Houndentenor says:

    Why would Republicans bother with hearing directly from PP? This is just political grandstanding. It has nothing to do with accurate information or perspective. It’s pure pandering.

  5. Bill_Perdue says:

    What’s needed is a federal constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to federally funded abortions on demand regardless of age.

  6. Bill_Perdue says:

    The problem is that Obama refuses to deal with the mad dog killer cops you seem so enamoured of. Their crimes could be addressed by a number of national and international laws covering crimes against humanity but he won’t move against them.

  7. Bill_Perdue says:

    Very little that’s politically useful survives an election period. The Democrats continue to box themselves into a corner supporting Obama’s wars of aggression, his brinkmanship in Ukraine and his regimes deep hostility to unions.

    Republicans do it with women’s and LGBT rights and by being the main party of racsim.

    And both do working people a huge disservice by ignoring the murderous campaign of killer cops and the burgeoning nationalist sentiments among people of color, exemplified by opposition to killer cops and border racsim by Obama and Trump.

  8. sukabi says:

    The sole purpose of these “hearings” is to gin up outrage among the base to generate funds. It’s all part and parcel of the GOP grift.

  9. ComradeRutherford says:

    When the Star Chamber has already decided the verdict, the last thing they want to hear is evidence that contradicts their decree.

    “hearings about bills that won’t pass, designed to stop crimes that didn’t take place, won’t be informed by the people who are being accused of wrongdoing they didn’t do.”

    These hearings are completely fake.

  10. emjayay says:

    NPR news today says that Republicans say PP is doing horrible illegal immoral things, and Democrats claim the video was edited. Really appalling. The grossly deceptive editing of the videos is not an opinion, but a fact. I guess NPR is afraid of getting their funding cut because of being liberal, which includes reporting fact. This he-said (earth is round) she-said (it’s flat) stuff is the norm for NPR news. Yes, I have complained at npr.org to no avail on this general topic.

    One can only imagine commercial and Fox News coverage if ultra Liberal Socialist Leftist NPR is this bad.

  11. Jon Green says:

    Unlike fetal tissue research, recording someone without their knowledge is illegal, but that’s neither here nor there.

    And in case you didn’t notice, those videos got *plenty* of coverage across the political spectrum. Everyone not on the far-right just found it useful to point out that they were heavily edited to make it look like the Planned Parenthood staffers were saying things that they really weren’t.

    But for what I think we’ll both agree is the fairest take on the issue, this reporter from Vox sat down and watched all twelve unedited hours of footage that the Center for Medical Progress had released up to that point, and wrote about what they do — and don’t — reveal: http://www.vox.com/2015/8/13/9140849/planned-parenthood-videos-unedited

    By the way, did you read anything past the title?

  12. guest says:

    Interesting title. But I find it similar to how our progressive community wants a judge to ban and censor the undercover videos which recently brought the PP under criticism. I’m so confused.

  13. BeccaM says:

    And a blatant attempt to do to one of the single most effective providers of healthcare services to low-income women, their children, and more than a few low-income men, too, exactly what these GOPer asses did to ACORN.

    I’d add not only is it a proverbial witch-hunt, the Republicans’ motives remain the same: Use any and all means to prevent women from having any reproductive freedoms at all, even if it results in the unnecessary deaths of those women.

  14. Indigo says:

    It’s a witch hunt, plain and simple.

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