Washington, D.C.— House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Constitution and Civil Justice Subcommittee Chairman Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) today sent a letter to 58 Planned Parenthood affiliates across the country requesting information on their clinical procedures and standards when performing abortion services.
The letter to the affiliates addresses disturbing issues brought to light through a series of videos from the Center for Medical Progress that suggest “Planned Parenthood abortion practitioners are altering procedures in order to harvest the organs and body parts of aborted children.”
In the letter, Planned Parenthood affiliates are asked to address basic questions from the size and scope of their work in abortion practices to “how many abortions by trimester were done for each of the past 10 years.” Additional questions strike at the heart of abortion practices discussed in the Center for Medical Progress’ videos such as “[H]as anyone at your clinics ever modified or changed their abortion technique in order to increase the odds of preserving intact fetal tissue and organs?”
Below is the text of the letter. A copy of the signed letter can be found here.
To Whom It May Concern:
Recent videos released by the Center for Medical Progress suggest that Planned Parenthood abortion practitioners are altering procedures in order to harvest the organs and body parts of aborted children. These videos suggest this disturbing practice is more than an isolated instance. Therefore, I write to ask the following questions regarding the clinics with which you are affiliated:
- How many clinics are operated by your affiliate? Which of these clinics perform abortions? For each clinic that performs abortions, please indicate how many abortions by trimester were done for each of the past 10 years.
- What steps, if any, do your clinics take to ensure compliance with the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act?
- Which of your clinics use feticides such as Digoxin? In what percent of cases are feticides used? At what gestational age are feticides used?
- Do your doctors sign an intent statement regarding abortion procedures? If so, please provide your affiliate’s policy regarding intent statements, including a copy of any intent statement forms used at each of your clinics in the last 10 years.
- Please indicate by year for the past 10 years, the number of instances in which a child has been delivered intact in the second trimester during an abortion conducted by one of your clinics, including cases in which this happened outside the clinic. Please specify the protocols in place for infants born alive in the course of an abortion. How many times have these protocols been used? What equipment for the care of infants born alive is available at each clinic performing abortions in the second trimester?
- Have your doctors during the abortion procedure ever attempted to keep fetal tissue and organs intact? If so, what methods were used to do so?
- Has anyone at your clinics ever modified or changed their abortion technique in order to increase the odds of preserving intact fetal tissue and organs? If so, what changes or modifications were made? If not, does your affiliate have a policy that expressly prohibits changes or modifications in procedure in order to increase the odds of preserving intact fetal tissue and organs?
- What protocols do your clinics follow for the disposal of fetal remains?
- In the past 10 years have any of your clinics engaged in fetal tissue donation? If yes, which clinics have engaged in fetal tissue donation and for each clinic please provide the following:
- The name of the recipients (researchers, institutions, tissue procurement entities, etc.) to which the donation was made.
- The number of specimens provided to each recipient in each year and the total amount in income or reimbursement received from each recipient in each year.
- A copy of all contracts between your affiliate or clinic and any recipients of fetal tissue donation.
- A copy of the standard informed consent form used for fetal tissue donation. If the form was changed at any time over the past 10 years please provide a copy of each version and the date the change(s) were or are in effect.
In addition, please provide a copy of all abortion training materials or procedure protocols used at your clinics at any time in the past 10 years. For the past five years, please indicate what methods were used each year in each trimester and how many abortions were conducted using each method.