(CNSNews.com) – Fifty U.S. senators, 49 Republicans and West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin, are calling on Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell to investigate Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s “practice of harvesting the organs of unborn babies.”
Their letter follows the release by the Center for Medical Progress of video footage showing high-level Planned Parenthood officials discussing the practice.
“We are deeply disturbed by recent footage released by the Center for Medical Progress depicting senior Planned Parenthood Federation of America officials discussing in graphic detail the organization’s practice of harvesting the organs of unborn babies,” the letter states.
“The footage raises a number of questions about the practices of the organization, including whether they are in compliance with federal laws regulating both the use of fetal tissue and partial birth abortions.
“In addition to questions about Planned Parenthood’s compliance with applicable federal law and medical ethics, we believe the footage prompts important policy questions surrounding the issue of abortions permitted to late in pregnancy – sometimes even later than five months – that an unborn baby’s organs can be identified and harvested,” the letter says.
“This footage is morally reprehensible, vile, and raises a number of questions that taxpayers deserve answers to,” Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) said in a statement.
“Today, my colleagues and I are calling on HHS to cooperate with all current and future investigations into these shocking allegations. As a defender of life, I remain committed to getting these answers because protecting our most vulnerable is an important measure of any society.”
The letter was signed by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), John Barrasso (R-Wy.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Dan Coats (R-Ind.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), John Cornyn (R-Texas),Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho),Ted Cruz (Texas), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Mike Enzi (Wy.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), David Perdue (R-Ga.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), James Risch (R-Idaho), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Dan Sullivan (R-Ark.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Thom Tillis (R-NC.), Pat Toomey (R-Penn.), David Vitter (R-La.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).
The only Republican senators not to have signed the letter were Sens. Susan Collins (R-Me.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).