Last week, the House Judiciary Committee in Washington, D.C. held a hearing on Planned Parenthood’s horrific abortion practices exposed in video footage released by the Center for Medical Progress. The four hour hearing consisted of opening comments from leaders of each party, the testimonies of four witnesses, and a timed commentary and questioning of the witnesses from each member of the Committee.
As comments volleyed between Republicans and Democrats, a consistent pattern was observable. Republicans unanimously drew attention to the fact that Planned Parenthood commits barbaric injustices funded by fungible taxpayer dollars every single day. Democrats, meanwhile, spent their time allowances bemoaning the attack on so-called “women’s healthcare” and flatly refused to address the disturbing content of videos. At least one Democrat elected official admitted, in fact, that he would not watch the videos released by the Center for Medical Progress—he had already made up his mind that Planned Parenthood is innocent of wrongdoing.
One GOP leader, U.S. Representative Trey Gowdy (R-SC) directly confronted the cognitive dissonance of arguments made repeatedly by the anti-Life Democrats. Rep. Gowdy first addressed the issue of viability. Anti-Life lawyer and witness Professor Priscilla Smith relied upon this term heavily to substantiate her dichotomy between the ethical acceptability of certain abortion procedures (her arguments were predicated on whether a preborn child was pre-viable or viable). When asked to elaborate on the meaning of viability, Smith said that the question should be deferred to doctors. Addressing that point, Rep. Gowdy holds nothing back:
I think Professor Smith – if I heard her correctly – said that she was not a doctor and that it should be up to the doctors to make that determination, although I did note the irony: it was nine damn lawyers who came up with that plan – not one of whom was a doctor.
Rep. Gowdy then tackled U.S. Representative Hank Johnson’s (D-GA) comments that most of the Republicans seeking to defund Planned Parenthood were men (and thus, somehow unqualified to do so). Rep. Gowdy continued:
And I also noted the irony of Hank Johnson wondering why there weren’t more women on our side of the aisle when they tend to target those who seek office as Republican women. And there wasn’t a single woman on the court when Roe v. Wade was decided. But that doesn’t seem to trouble him much.
The fact is that women are invested in the issue of defunding Planned Parenthood and putting an end to elective abortion in America. There was no stronger evidence of this than the fact that two of the witnesses were female abortion survivors. One of the survivors, Gianna Jessen, whose Life was almost ended by a saline abortion in 1977, asked: “If abortion is about women’s rights, where were mine?”
Another Republican elected official, U.S. Representative John Ratcliffe, highlighted Professor Smith’s characterization of Planned Parenthood as a “beloved institution.” Ratcliffe stated that he and the seven hundred thousand Texans whom he represents were troubled by what has been said by Planned Parenthood officials on videos – he called this a “blatant disregard for human Life.” Rep. Ratcliffe noted the disingenuous concern of his Democrat colleagues for women’s health, saying:
The Democrats in the room – my colleagues across the aisle—can feign outrage. But this is the obligation of Congress: when federal tax dollars are going to Planned Parenthood, we have an obligation as duly elected representatives of the people to determine whether or not they’re using those federal tax dollars to violate the law.