Washington, D.C.— House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Constitution and Civil Justice Subcommittee Chairman Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) today demanded further investigation by the Department of Justice into potential violations of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act by Planned Parenthood.
Chairman Goodlatte and Subcommittee Chairman Franks detailed their initial concerns in a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch after several reports and a videosurfaced of an executive from Planned Parenthood describing the group’s procedures to retrieve body parts of unborn children.
Chairman Goodlatte and Subcommittee Chairman Franks call on the Department of Justice to “provide a summary of all actions your Department has taken to ensure compliance with the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act,” and to launch its own investigation into any potential violations of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.
The House Committee on Energy and Commerce also sent a letter today to Planned Parenthood, demanding answers on the organization’s practices.
Below is the text of the lettersent by Chairman Goodlatte and Subcommittee Chairman Franks. A copy of the signed letter can be found here.
July 17, 2015
The Honorable Loretta Lynch
United States Department of Justice
Washington, DC 20530
Dear Attorney General Lynch:
In a recently released video Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Senior Director of Medical Services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, describes actions taken during abortions to produce intact organs for fetal tissue brokers.
In the course of the conversation she references several actions that abortionists can take to produce the requested organs. These include using graspers to crush the unborn child above and below the thorax so that organs such as the liver, heart and lungs are not damaged.
However, she notes that an intact head is the hardest to deliver. To address this problem, she says “some people will actually try to change the presentation so it’s not vertex” (so the baby is breech instead of head first). She goes on to explain that “if you do it starting from the breech presentation, there’s dilation that happens as the case goes on, and often the last, you can evacuate an intact calvarium [head] at the end.”
When discussing the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban and how abortionists take the law into consideration, Nucatola goes on to say “the federal abortion ban is a law, and laws are up to interpretation. So there are some people who interpret it as intent. So if I say on Day One I do not intend to do this, what ultimately happens doesn’t matter. Because I didn’t intend to do this on Day One so I’m complying with the law.”
Both the references to the process of breech conversion and the interpretation of intent raise serious questions about whether abortionists and particularly abortionists in the Planned Parenthood organization are complying with the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.
With this in mind, please provide a summary of all actions your Department has taken to ensure compliance with the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. Further, we urge you to act swiftly to launch an investigation into any potential violations of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of which your Department has become aware, or does become aware, including potential violations by Planned Parenthood.