Almost a year later, the House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee – and no less than twelve state governments – have concluded their investigations into beloved reproductive healthcare provider Planned Parenthood over the outrageous accusations from religious extremists that the organization was selling fetal tissues for profit.
Like every other investigation the House has undertaken, they have have found not a shred of evidence to support the ridiculous lies that the right-wing insists on repeating after notorious anti-choice propagandist Daniel Daleidan released a set of misleadingly doctored videos which purported to show evidence of fetal tissue sales.
What they have managed to do is waste almost $800,000 in taxpayer dollars chasing yet another fruitless conservative witch-hunt designed to smear one of our nation’s most famous reproductive healthcare providers in their incessant war on women and their right to agency of their own bodies.
The Committee has spent $300,000 so far and has demanded another $500,000 – 80% of the House’s supplemental funding – which has been approved, as per a congressional aide. Ranking member Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) loudly condemned the funding request and the investigation as a whole, saying that “this has not been—nor will it ever be—a fact-based investigation. Instead the Panel is being run as a taxpayer-funded arm of anti-abortion groups, in pursuit of a partisan, anti-science, and anti-health care agenda. Enough is enough.”
Daleidan and his cronies at the innocuously named “Center For Medical Progress” has been hit with four civil lawsuits, a criminal indictment from a Houston grand jury, and an inquiry from the California Attorney General’s office – but nothing has yet come from all those investigations. Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit against CMP won’t see trial until December 2017.
It just goes to show where the priorities of House Republicans lie – in lieu of any actual governance, they’d rather spend hard-earned tax payer dollars on absurd religious inquisitions and chasing baseless conspiracy theories.
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.