As Republicans in Congress kicked off another effort to cut federal funding for Planned Parenthood, the organization's president told lawmakers that the firestorm of controversy is the result of fraudulent videos that distort the organization's work and tissue donation practices.
Cecile Richards said her group is being targeted because of "deceptively edited videos released by a group that is dedicated to making abortion illegal." The "outrageous accusations" based on those videos — that the organization is profiting from selling fetal tissue — are "offensive and categorically untrue."
Richards said what the videos show are practitioners describing efforts to provide fetal tissue for medial research. Fetal tissue donation is "a minuscule part of the work of Planned Parenthood. Of the hundreds of health centers that are part of the Planned Parenthood network, currently just 1 percent facilitate their patients’ tissue donation in support of fetal tissue research." Nevertheless, she strongly defended the practice. "While our involvement with fetal tissue research is a small component of Planned Parenthood, it offers the potential of lifesaving research."
I watched quite a bit of this yesterday and once again found the behavior of the Republicans to be deplorable.
At one point the committee chairman Jason Chaffetz had the temerity to bring up Richards' annual salary and suggest that she was overpaid.
Just the very idea of a member of this do nothing Congress suggesting that some other person was overpaid is enough to make my head explode in rage. Not only that but to my ears it sounded more than a little sexist.
And that is also the way it sounded to Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who had this to say:
I'd like to register my opposition and my objection to the chairman beating up on a woman on our witness today for making a good salary. The entire time I've been in Congress I've never seen a witness beaten up and questioned about their salary. Ms. Richards heads a distinguished organization providing health care services to millions of Americans and I find it totally inappropriate and discriminatory.
The committee threw a lot of BS at Richards during her testimony including a chart that they threw up on the screen to shame her.
And before you get too concerned about the jackals that salivated around Ms. Richards you should know that she had one very competent warrior fighting on her side.
None other than Elijah "Fuck you and your stupid Republican investigations" Cummings!
Rep. Cummings as we know has also been the voice of reason during the incredibly long Benghazi witch hunt as well.
I don't think the Republicans got much they can use from this inquisition yesterday.
However that does not mean they have any intention of giving up.
After all if they can keep that ridiculous Benghazi investigation going for 72 weeks there is no telling how long they can beat this dead horse.