ICYMI: House Judiciary Committee Hearing Again Devolves Into 'Pure Political Theater'
For Immediate Release: Oct. 15, 2015
Witness Admits Videos Have Nothing to do With Planned Parenthood; Rep Gohmert Asks if PACs Provide Mammograms; No Planned Parenthood Officials Invited to Testify
Washington, DC-- Today marked the second installment of the House Judiciary Committee’s series of political hearings called “Planned Parenthood Exposed, Examining the Horrific Abortion Practices at the Nation’s Largest Abortion Provider.” After last night’svote to establish a special committee, the House Judiciary Committee is now one of five Congressional committees that is investigating Planned Parenthood, despite no evidence of wrongdoing. Much like the first hearing, Republican leadership invited three long-time paid anti-abortion activists to testify, while refusing to invite one Planned Parenthood official.
Quote from Eric Ferrero, Vice President for Communications, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:
“Today’s one-sided, politically motivated hearing proves two things: that Republicans in Congress are obsessed with ending safe and legal abortion in this country and that there is simply no evidence of any wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood. The political agenda behind these investigations was on full display. It's clear that extreme politicians see this as a political opportunity, not actual wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood.”
This hearing saw Rep. Forbes compare an abortion procedure to putting a dog to sleep and Rep. Gohmert ask "How Many Mammograms Do PACs Do?", showing a complete misunderstanding of women's health and Planned Parenthood. To be clear, Political Action Committees do not offer health services, nor do they receive any federal funding.
The political theater continued when one of the Majority’s witnesses submitted a video for evidence against Planned Parenthood that members of the Committee and the witness himself admitted had nothing to do with Planned Parenthood.
As Rep. Cicilline says in this clip, "This witness played a tape that he has now admitted under oath was not prepared in connection with Planned Parenthood at all. And so i'd ask that it be stricken from the record of this hearing."
The video was at first stricken from the record, but later the Republican Majority voted for it to be included. Despite much discussion of videos that had nothing to do with Planned Parenthood, the Majority made no requests for full, unedited source footage.
Later in the hearing, Rep. Nadler made it clear that there is no evidence of wrongdoing on behalf of Planned Parenthood. “If my colleagues had one shred of evidence that Planned Parenthood has broken any laws, they would have went to a state or federal prosecutor right away. But they didn’t. And they don’t.”
Rep. Gutierrez told the extreme politicians in the room that Americans will not stand for this. “We'll not turn back the clock. As much as you wish to turn back the clock. Gay people are not going back in the closet. Latinos and Asians and immigrants aren't going to disappear. And women are not going to get back alley abortions and put their lives at risk again.”
Rep. Jeffries called this hearing out for what it was -- pure political theater. He said, “This is not a legitimate congressional exercise. This is not a fact-finding hearing. This is theater. This is a charade. This is stagecraft. This is nothing more than a political hit job on a woman's right to choose. Which, by the way, is constitutionally protected. I’ve got the benefit of being one of the least senior members here so i get to sit through much of the hearing, and there are only one or two of us left. And this hearing has gone on for hour after hour after hour and yet no one has presented a shred of evidence, a scintilla of evidence that planned parenthood has done anything wrong.”