Ses­sions urged to pur­sue Planned Par­ent­hood

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics - BY BRAD­FORD RICHARD­SON

Sen. Jeff Ses­sions has called on At­tor­ney Gen­eral Loretta E. Lynch to in­ves­ti­gate ac­cu­sa­tions that Planned Par­ent­hood il­le­gally traf­fics in fe­tal body parts from abor­tions.

Now that he is set to re­place her as the na­tion’s top pros­e­cu­tor, pro­life groups are urg­ing the Alabama Repub­li­can to fol­low through on that de­mand him­self.

Troy New­man, who heads the pro-life group Op­er­a­tion Res­cue, said he ex­pects Mr. Ses­sions to crack down on Planned Par­ent­hood from Day One of his term if he is con­firmed as at­tor­ney gen­eral.

“Planned Par­ent­hood’s days of run­ning amok over the laws of the land are nearly over,” Mr. New­man said in a state­ment. “A new sher­iff is com­ing to town and the era of old cor­rupt politi­cians who have shielded Planned Par­ent­hood from the con­se­quences of their il­le­gal be­hav­ior is about to come to an end. Our mes­sage to Planned Par­ent­hood to­day is: You are no longer above the law.”

Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump tapped Mr. Ses­sions to head the Jus­tice Depart­ment last week, call­ing him a “world-class le­gal mind.”

The pro-life move­ment has good rea­son to be ex­cited about the ap­point­ment.

Mr. Ses­sions has a 100 per­cent pro-life vot­ing record, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Right to Life Com­mit­tee, in­clud­ing his votes to de­fund Planned Par­ent­hood and ban abor­tions af­ter 20 weeks of preg­nancy.

The four-term se­na­tor signed a let­ter to Ms. Lynch last year ask­ing her to in­ves­ti­gate the abor­tion provider af­ter un­der­cover in­ves­tiga­tive videos pur­port­edly doc­u­mented top Planned Par­ent­hood of­fi­cials dis­cussing the trade of liv­ers, brains and other tis­sue of ba­bies who were aborted.

Clarke Forsythe, act­ing pres­i­dent and se­nior counsel for Amer­i­cans United for Life, said the tim­ing could not be bet­ter to launch an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Planned Par­ent­hood.

He pointed to a report by the House Se­lect In­ves­tiga­tive Panel on In­fant Lives, set to be re­leased by the end of the year, which will de­tail find­ings of an in­quiry into whether Planned Par­ent­hood broke fed­eral pri­vacy laws or pro­hi­bi­tions against the sale of fe­tal parts.

“That report may pro­vide es­sen­tial facts for the at­tor­ney gen­eral to not only fur­ther in­ves­ti­gate, but also to look into im­prov­ing fed­eral law or sup­port­ing new fed­eral laws to shut down Planned Par­ent­hood’s prac­tices into fe­tal tis­sue har­vest­ing and sale,” Mr. Forsythe said. “There will be a lot to keep the at­tor­ney gen­eral busy.”

If the pro-life move­ment’s hopes are re­al­ized, Mr. Ses­sions would mark a dra­matic de­par­ture from the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion’s “hands-off” ap­proach to Planned Par­ent­hood.

Ms. Lynch was “un­for­tu­nately not an ob­jec­tive ob­server of Planned Par­ent­hood and has been too aligned with Planned Par­ent­hood’s agenda across the country,” Mr. Forsythe said. “Hope­fully, that hands-off at­ti­tude to­ward Planned Par­ent­hood will be dra­mat­i­cally changed with the new at­tor­ney gen­eral.”

Op­po­nents of the ap­point­ment have accused Mr. Ses­sions of racism, point­ing to his char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of the NAACP as “un-Amer­i­can or com­mu­nist” and the Vot­ing Rights Act as overly “in­tru­sive leg­is­la­tion.”

Il­yse Hogue, pres­i­dent of NARAL Pro-Choice Amer­ica, said Mr. Ses­sions’ “record of misog­yny and racism makes him un­fit to be the country’s top lawyer.”

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