A Republican-run House panel created to investigate Planned Parenthood and the world of fetal tissue research has urged Congress to halt federal payments to the women's health organization. Democrats said the GOP probe had unearthed no wrongdoing and wasted taxpayers' money in an abusive investigation reminiscent of the late Sen. Joseph McCarthy.
The Republican recommendation was included in the special committee's final report Wednesday and was no surprise. The GOP released the 471-page document just 16 days before Donald Trump becomes president, at the start of a year in which many Republicans hope Congress will finally cut off federal funds for the group.
Most GOP lawmakers have long opposed Planned Parenthood because many of its clinics provide abortions. Their antagonism intensified after anti-abortion activists released secretly recorded videos in 2015 showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing how they sometimes provide fetal tissue to researchers, which is legal if no profit is made.
“Planned Parenthood affiliates and clinics have repeatedly neglected their fiduciary duty requiring good stewardship of federal taxpayer dollars,” wrote the panel, which was chaired by Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. Republicans created the special committee in reaction to the videos.
The report accused the group of violating federal laws by altering abortion procedures to obtain fetal tissue, disclosing patients' private information to firms that procure the tissue and “a general disinterest in clinical integrity.”
Planned Parenthood has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, and did so again Wednesday.