Sessions urged to pursue Planned Parenthood
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.”