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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