House creates select panel dedicated to investigating Planned Parenthood
WASHINGTON, D.C., October 7, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – One day before Congress holds its fourth hearing on Planned Parenthood's fetal harvesting practices, the House of Representatives is set to create a panel that will dedicate its time to examining the abortion giant.
“No issue is more deserving of our undivided attention than protecting the dignity of human life,” said House Energy and Commerce Committee Vice-Chairman Marsha Blackburn, R-TN, in a statement. “This select panel will devote the time necessary to get the facts in this investigation and help ensure that the most innocent lives among us are given the respect they deserve as human babies.”
A committee spokesperson clarified to LifeSiteNews that the new panel will be a part of the Energy and Commerce Committee. While the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees will look at potential violations of current law and how Planned Parenthood uses its federal funding, respectively, the new panel will take over the full ECC's investigation of whether fetal tissue is being illegally used to generate a profit.
The committee will have eight Republicans appointed by retiring House Speaker John Boehner, R-OH, and five Democrats appointed by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-CA.
Grassroots conservatives have often criticized the creation of select committees as a way to avoid legislative action. However, the House spokesperson cited Blackburn, committee chairman Fred Upton, and others who have said the committee is dedicated to finding out all the facts of how abortion facilities and brokers use – and possibly sell – fetal tissue.
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The committee has passed several pro-life bills, including a measure to defund Planned Parenthood and one that would make killing a child who survives an abortion first-degree murder.