Planned Parenthood of Texas Skips Senate Hearing Regarding Undercover Videos
In a letter, Planned Parenthood of Texas rejected a senate committee’s invitation to share details about whether or not any of their clinics are profiting from the sale of fetal tissue samples. The emergency hearing was part of an on-going legislative investigation regarding a series of undercover videos featuring Planned Parenthood executives discussing the issue.
Officials with Planned Parenthood of Texas say that none of their health centers or ambulatory surgical centers is currently participating in any fetal tissue collection program for medical research. And because of that, the organization didn’t feel it could really offer the Senate’s Health and Human Services Committee anything of use during this inquiry.
Committee Chair, Charles Schwertner, a Republican from Georgetown chastised the organization for cancelling their testimony just 30 minutes before the start of the senate hearing.
“They testified regarding other statutory or legislative endeavors such as HB2 or the Sonogram Bill and were active participants in those committee hearings. Unfortunately, as of 8:30 this morning, decline to come participate and I think that shows in some way their true color. It’s unfortunate that they’re not here to discuss this important issue,” Schwertner said.
But according to data provided to the committee, at one time the organization has participated in a fetal tissue collection program out of its Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast clinics. Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast’s Rochelle Tafolla says that was four-years ago.
“We have partnered with medical institutions in the past. The last ended in 2011. It was a study with the University of Texas Medical Branch on how to prevent miscarriages,” explained Tafolla.
The committee was also briefed by Attorney General Ken Paxton on the details of his office’s separate investigation and a visit to Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast clinics.
“Officials there invited our team to take a look around, including a stop at what is called the POC, which POC stands for products of conception, of aborted children known as the products. Which are every week taken away by a contractor who burns their bodies as medical waste,” Paxton told senators.
Paxton also told senators that he was expanding his investigation to ensure that no clinics or hospitals in the State of Texas are profiting from the sale of fetal tissue samples.