House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) (AP)
(CNSNews.com) -- House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said he rejected the “premise that Planned Parenthood is harvesting fetal organs” at his weekly pen-and-pad meeting with reporters on Tuesday.
On Monday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee launched an investigation of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, after video footage of Planned Parenthood executive Dr. Deborah Nucatola discussing fees for fetal tissue was released.
In a letter to the committee, Planned Parenthood’s attorney acknowledged that a “small number” of clinics facilitate donation of fetal tissue for medical research.
On Capitol Hill, CNSNews.com asked Hoyer, “In its last annual report, Planned Parenthood said it did more than 327,000 abortions in fiscal year 2013. Recent reports indicate that Planned Parenthood doctors have been harvesting tissue from aborted babies. So should federal taxpayer dollars be required to subsidize Planned Parenthood or should Congress cut off all federal funding?”
Hoyer responded, “Look, I don’t accept the premise that Planned Parenthood is ‘harvesting’ anything. Planned Parenthood is doing very, very important services for literally hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of women as relates to their health.”
“I know there have been controversies, national controversy over these tapes that pertain,” said Hoyer. “I haven’t reviewed the tapes, but I’ve read articles on them. And, certainly, the Congress, as I understand it, will be having hearings on it and I’ll be interested to see when that is.”
“But I’m not going to jump to conclusions,” he said. “But I will say that I reject any premise that Planned Parenthood is harvesting fetal organs, or body parts, anything.”
Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards
and President Barack Obama. (AP)
Regarding the video footage of Dr. Deborah Nucatola, the senior director of medical services for Planned Parenthood, the organization’s letter to Congress states, “The video also conveyed the impression that all Planned Parenthood affiliates have tissue donation programs. In fact, only a very small number of affiliates have programs to help women and families who wish to donate tissue for medical research.”
A second video was released on Tuesday by the Center for Medical Progress, which has been investigating Planned Parenthood for three years. The second video shows Planned Parenthood official Dr. Mary Gatter also discussing fees for fetal body parts.
Concerning that video, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), said, "This new video is as sickening, disturbing and callous as the last video. It's now clear that Planned Parenthood allows this horrifying conduct to happen throughout its organization.”
“Last week, I called on Congress to investigate these gruesome practices,” said Boehner. “The Energy & Commerce and Judiciary Committees have begun immediate investigations and I look forward to their prompt and thorough action.”
“President Obama still has not denounced these horrific practices,” said Speaker Boehner. “He has a responsibility to also speak out immediately and stop these practices now."