Women tes­tify on Hill: Planned Par­ent­hood mis­leads

Democrats slam ‘show trial,’ say videos are ‘bo­gus’

The Washington Times Weekly - - National - BY CH­ERYL WETZSTEIN

In the first con­gres­sional hear­ing on videos pur­port­ing to show Planned Par­ent­hood’s in­volve­ment in il­le­gally selling fe­tal tis­sue for profit and vi­o­lat­ing other fed­eral pro­hi­bi­tions, two women who sur­vived abor­tions told a con­gres­sional hear­ing that the abor­tion gi­ant and pro-choice groups are al­ready mis­lead­ing peo­ple about the group’s prac­tices.

Planned Par­ent­hood says it is for women’s rights, said Gianna Jessen, who showed pic­tures of her burned body when she was born at 71⁄2 months old af­ter a failed sa­line abor­tion at a Planned Par­ent­hood clinic in 1977.

“If abor­tion is about women’s rights, then what were mine?” she said.

“I have to say, as a woman who sur­vived an abor­tion sur­vivor, there is some­thing wrong when health care and women’s em­pow­er­ment is based on some­one’s life end­ing,” said Melissa Oh­den, founder of the Abor­tion Sur­vivors Net­work. Ms. Oh­den was also al­most killed in a 1977 sa­line abor­tion, but she lived, thanks to two nurses who made sure she got med­i­cal care in­stead of be­ing dumped “into a bucket of formalde­hyde.”

The House Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee is prob­ing Planned Par­ent­hood’s ac­tiv­i­ties re­gard­ing the har­vest­ing and dis­tribut­ing of fe­tal body parts, based on nine un­der­cover videos re­leased over the sum­mer by the Cen­ter for Med­i­cal Progress. Planned Par­ent­hood claims many of the most damn­ing se­quences were mis­lead­ingly edited.

The House Repub­li­can Con­fer­ence on Wed­nes­day also launched a new Web-based timeline at gop.gov/planned­par­ent­hood to track the many on­go­ing House in­ves­ti­ga­tions into Planned Par­ent­hood.

House Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee Chair­man Bob Good­latte, Vir­ginia Repub­li­can, said the hear­ings were needed be­cause Planned Par­ent­hood is granted “huge amounts of fed­eral funds,” and it is Congress’ busi­ness to en­sure that fed­eral taxpayers are “not con­tribut­ing to the sorts of hor­rors re­flected in the un­der­cover videos.”

The Demo­cratic com­mit­tee mem­bers lam­basted the hear­ing as a “show trial,” called the videos “bo­gus” and de­fended Planned Par­ent­hood as the tar­get of mul­ti­ple smear cam­paigns aimed at de­fund­ing it and end­ing le­gal abor­tion.

“The peo­ple who made these videos are liars in a long line of liars,” said Rep. Jerry Nadler, New York Demo­crat.

This hear­ing is “one-sided,” said Rep. John Cony­ers, Michigan Demo­crat, who chided the ma­jor­ity for not invit­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Planned Par­ent­hood or the Cen­ter for Med­i­cal Progress to the hear­ing.

These “doc­tored videos” of­fer “no cred­i­ble ev­i­dence” that Planned Par­ent­hood — one of the most pop­u­lar or­ga­ni­za­tions for 100 years — vi­o­lated fed­eral law, said Mr. Cony­ers.

But Rep. Trent Franks, Ari­zona Repub­li­can, said the un­der­cover videos show peo­ple “hag­gling” over price of fe­tal parts, and us­ing painful dis­mem­ber­ment meth­ods to de­stroy the lives of “these lit­tle ba­bies.”

The con­gress­man re­called how in one video a woman tes­ti­fied that she was shown an aborted baby boy’s heart that was still beat­ing and told to harvest his brain.

The only time this baby was held was by peo­ple “who cut his face open and took his brain,” said Mr. Franks.

The mi­nor­ity Democrats’ wit­ness was Priscilla J. Smith, a se­nior fel­low for the Pro­gram for the Study of Re­pro­duc­tive Jus­tice at Yale Law School, who said she was tes­ti­fy­ing in her per­sonal ca­pac­ity.

She re­peat­edly dis­missed the un­der­cover videos as de­lib­er­ately edited to mis­rep­re­sent Planned Par­ent­hood’s prac­tices. In re­sponse to a ques­tion by Mr. Good­latte, Ms. Smith said abor­tion pro­ce­dures, in­clud­ing di­la­tion and evac­u­a­tion, were hu­mane — if the fe­tus was “pre-vi­able.”

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Gianna Jessen, a pro-life and dis­abil­ity rights ac­tivist from Franklin, Ten­nessee, showed the House Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee pic­tures of her burned body when she was born at 7½ months old af­ter a failed sa­line abor­tion at a Planned Par­ent­hood clinic in 1977.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.