Inland Reps split on defunding Planned Parenthood after suspected black market trade of fetal organs

RIVERSIDE  – Riverside County congressional representatives Friday cast divided votes on whether to suspend funding for Planned Parenthood in the wake of investigative videos indicating the abortion provider engaged in the
black market trade of fetal organs.
“Like most Americans, I was appalled and outraged by the Planned Parenthood videos,” said Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Corona, a cosponsor of H.R. 3134, the Defund Planned Parenthood Act. “This Act would prevent Planned Parenthood from receiving any federal government funding.
“There’s no dispute that federal funding should be spent on women’s healthcare. However, federal funding should not be given to organizations that do not respect life, even in its earliest stage.”
Rep. Mark Takano, D-Riverside, opposed the bill, saying it risked “taking vital healthcare services away from millions of Americans.”
“Every day, Planned Parenthood provides cancer screenings, HIV testing, and prenatal care to people across this country,” the congressman said.
“Many of them would lack affordable access to these services if the bill House Republicans passed today were to become law.”
Takano also criticized H.R. 3134 for potentially providing impetus for a government shutdown, if supporters make it a bargaining chip in negotiations with the Obama administration over a continuing resolution to keep money
flowing to federal agencies.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, the bill only directs that funding be withheld from Planned Parenthood and its affiliates for one year to give lawmakers time to hold hearings and further review allegations of
doctors trading infant parts for money.
The legislation also leaves the funding stream open to Planned Parenthood and its member clinics if they “certify that (they) will not perform — and will not provide funds to any other entity that performs — an abortion” during the one-year moratorium, the CBO stated.
The agency said about $235 million is at stake.
Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Temecula, joined Calvert, 242 other Republicans and two Democrats in voting for the bill. Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Palm Desert, voted with 173 fellow Democrats and three Republicans in voting against it.
The bill, now bound for the U.S. Senate, was among the talking points in Wednesday’s nationally televised debate between GOP presidential contenders.
Republican hopeful Carly Fiorina said the legislation should serve as a morality test to which the Congress should put the president.
Fiorina dared him to “watch these tapes … watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking, while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain. This is about the character of our nation, and if we will not stand up and force President Obama to veto this bill, shame on us.”
The legislation is a watered-down version of what some congressional Republicans had sought — completely de-funding Planned Parenthood. It came to the House floor only a few days after the nonprofit Center for Medical Progress released its 10th video from an undercover investigation that the pro-life group began several years ago as part of its “Human Capital Project.”
In the latest video, abortion opponents posing as organ buyers recorded Dr. Carolyn Westhoff, senior medical advisor for Planned Parenthood, discussing the methods used to obtain body parts.
Westhoff acknowledges “working with people who want particular tissues … like, they want cardiac, or they want eyes, or they want neural.”
“Certainly everything we provide. Oh, my God, gonads,” the doctor says. “Everything we provide is fresh.”
Westhoff’s colleague calls the practice “(organ) donation for remuneration.”
Earlier this summer, another video captured conversations with the senior director of Planned Parenthood’s medical services branch, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, who was taped casually telling how it’s possible to preserve and
“evacuate an intact” baby skull for fetal tissue collection.
Trading in human body parts is a federal crime.  Planned Parenthood has released statements denouncing the videos as “heavily edited” and intended to “falsely portray” the organization as a baby parts broker. The group insisted that its “tissue donation programs support life-saving scientific research” and are carried out with the full
consent of women receiving abortions.
Planned Parenthood serves Medicaid patients and is under contract with the California Department of Public Health. According to published reports, the organization received more than a third of its $1.3 billion in revenue last
year from federal and state sources.
Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, R-Lake Elsinore, last month requested a state audit of Planned Parenthood based on findings in the videos. However, the request was denied in a party-line vote by Democrats from both the state Assembly and Senate.

2 Responses to "Inland Reps split on defunding Planned Parenthood after suspected black market trade of fetal organs"

  1. Christopher   September 19, 2015 at 8:34 am

    Forty years ago I troubled over choice knowing it was a choice of convenience. I made the decision that worked best for me, and today I have three lovely granddaughters, they have all their fingers and toes. Something in our culture has an objective to desensitize us, and then human nature becomes regretfully cruel. They say we are made from the ferocious violence that created stardust, from this little by little human conception evolved, how beautiful is that?

    Reply
  2. Greg   September 19, 2015 at 10:52 am

    Youth article fails to point out that the videos were edited and that what Carly described did not happen at Planned Parenthood. Terrible journalism.

    Reply

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