RICHMOND, Va. — Republican leaders in the Virginia House of Delegates on Thursday called on Governor Terry McAuliffe to begin an investigation into Virginia’s Planned Parenthood chapters in the wake of allegations that Planned Parenthood abortion doctors conducted partial birth abortions in order to harvest the body parts of children for money.
“The practices described in news reports and discussed in that video are horrific and should be universally condemned, regardless of one’s personal views on abortion,” said Virginia House Speaker Bill Howell (R-Stafford). “Governor McAuliffe should immediately direct the appropriate state agencies to conduct a comprehensive investigation into Virginia’s Planned Parenthood chapters to determine if any of these practices have happened in the Commonwealth and if Planned Parenthood is following all state laws, regulations and reporting requirements.”
Republican leaders on Capitol Hill — including the Speaker of the House — also expressed outrage on Wednesday, and calling for hearings to investigate the abortion practices of Planned Parenthood following the viral video.
House Speaker John Boehner, a devout Catholic, called for hearings on Planned Parenthood’s abortion practices and asked President Barack Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell to denounce them.
“When anyone diminishes an unborn child, we are all hurt, irreversibly so. When an organization monetizes an unborn child — and with the cavalier attitude portrayed in this horrific video — we must all act,” he said.
An anti-abortion group released the controversial video Tuesday showing a top Planned Parenthood official discussing the body parts of aborted fetuses. The group — Center for Medical Progress — says the video proves that Planned Parenthood sells organs and tissues, a practice that it is illegal under federal law.
Planned Parenthood says Dr. Deborah Nucatola, the senior director of medical services at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, discussed prices because of transportation costs to participate in the organization’s tissue donation program.
Planned Parenthood says the video was highly edited and the money discussed on tape had to do with the cost to transport donated tissue.
“These outrageous claims are flat-out untrue, but that doesn’t matter to politicians with a longstanding political agenda to ban abortion and defund Planned Parenthood,” said Eric Ferrero, Vice President of Communications, Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “Women and families who make the decision to donate fetal tissue for lifesaving scientific research should be honored, not attacked and demeaned.”
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy also called for House committees to investigate the group, which is a provider of reproductive health services and education and is the country’s largest abortion provider.
The California Republican called the practices in the video where a top Planned Parenthood official discusses performing an abortion in a way that preserves the lungs, heart and liver “inhumane.”
“I speak for all of my colleagues when I say I was deeply disturbed by reports and video of an organization engaging in such grotesque and inhumane practices,” he said. “I will be working with House Committees to investigate the claims made by the employee. We should all agree that no life is expendable, and our society has no place for such callous indifference to life.”
Multiple presidential candidates have spoken out against the video since it was posted Tuesday morning.