Photo credit: Olivier Douliery/Getty
By Samantha Lachman
Republicans are determined to push on with their investigation of Planned Parenthood, even after a Texas grand jury cleared the organization of wrongdoing on Monday and instead indicted two anti-abortion activists who targeted the family planning provider in a series of undercover videos.
One of the videos, taped at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Houston and purporting to show Planned Parenthood staff members discussing the sale of fetal tissue for medical research, inspired Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, a Republican, to ask Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson to initiate a criminal investigation of the organization in August.
Planned Parenthood has maintained that it was not selling fetal tissue, which would have been illegal, and commissioned a study that demonstrated the videos were manipulated. The organization sued the Center for Medical Progress, the anti-abortion group behind the videos, earlier this month.
The grand jury’s decision hasn’t affected Republicans’ plans to continue investigating Planned Parenthood, however. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), who is chairing a select investigative committee that purports to be investigating “big abortion providers” — but for all intents and purposes is only scrutinizing Planned Parenthood — said in a statement Tuesday that “the mission of our investigation has not changed.”
“We will continue to gather information and get the facts about medical practices of abortion service providers and the business practices of the procurement organizations who sell baby body parts,” Blackburn said. “These are issues of importance to the American people. We will study the laws on the books and follow the facts to defend life.”
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