Boozman and Cotton Call for Investigation of Planned Parenthood
WASHINGTON -U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton requested an investigation into Planned Parenthood following the release of videos showing senior executives discussing in horrific detail the organization's role in harvesting organs of unborn babies.
"As a strong believer in the sanctity of life, I am committed to defending those who cannot defend themselves. The amorality of the footage is appalling and raises not only concerns regarding whether Planned Parenthood broke multiple laws, but also the moral, ethical and policy implications its actions may have," Boozman said. "Further, I simply do not believe that the federal government should be using taxpayer dollars to help fund facilities that provide abortions. The cavalier attitude with which these gruesome practices were discussed reaffirms my position and I am committed to getting the answers to these questions that Arkansans deserve."
"Words are limiting to try to express the moral shock we feel when confronted by behavior so abhorrent as selling dead baby body parts for profit. But where words fall short I'm hopeful that we can be united in action: we must put an end to the federal funding of Planned Parenthood. Arkansans' tax dollars should not be supporting an organization that condones the activity we've seen in the videos released this week. This should be one issue that transcends partisan politics or ideology. To truly honor the God-given rights to life and liberty enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and guaranteed by our Constitution, we should strive to guarantee those rights to the ones least able to defend themselves—the unborn," Cotton said.
Boozman and Cotton are two of 50 senators who sent a letter today, led by Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), calling on Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell to cooperate with ongoing and future investigations regarding the serious issues raised by these videos.
"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," the senators wrote. "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 so late in a pregnancy - sometimes even later than 5 months - that an unborn baby's organs can be identified and harvested."
A copy of the signed letter can be read here.
Boozman and Cotton also called on U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to conduct a full investigation into whether Planned Parenthood violated federal law. In a letter sent yesterday, Boozman, Cotton and their colleagues joined Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) urging the Attorney General and DHHS Secretary to investigate whether Planned Parenthood violated sections 498A and 498B of the Public Health Service Act.
Section 498A requires doctors to certify that they did not alter the method or timing of an abortion for the purpose of obtaining human fetal tissue when that tissue is used in research conducted or supported by the National Institute of Health.
Section 498B prohibits the sale of human fetal issue.
"The disturbing facts revealed in this video raise the question of whether the employees of a federally funded organization have violated federal law by engaging in the transfer of human fetal tissue for profit, and whether the modification of abortion techniques for the purpose of obtaining that tissue violates applicable research guidelines established by federal law," the senators wrote.
To read the letter in its entirety click here.