House Republicans leading the congressional investigation into Planned Parenthood sent a list of questions to 58 affiliate clinics Thursday, demanding details about their abortion procedures and whether they donate aborted fetuses for research.
“Has anyone at your clinics ever modified or changed their abortion technique in order to increase the odds of preserving intact fetal tissue and organs?” reads one particularly pointed question on the list.
The Judiciary Committee is investigating allegations Planned Parenthood is selling aborted baby parts for profit — sometimes altering the abortion procedure for the sake of the harvest — and is calling for a Department of Justice investigation.
The Center for Medical Progress is making the allegations based on undercover footage it obtained of Planned Parenthood executives talking frankly about fetal tissue harvesting. An ex-medical technician who worked in the clinics describes cutting through the face of a late-term baby whose heart had just stopped beating in the seventh video released Wednesday.
“These videos suggest this disturbing practice is more than an isolated instance,” Chairman Bob Goodlatte and Rep. Trent Franks, Constitution and Civil Justice Subcommittee chairman, wrote in the letter to the 58 Planned Parenthood affiliates.
They demand answers to 13 questions, including the number of abortions performed in each clinic by trimester in the past 10 years, steps taken to ensure compliance with the federal partial-birth abortion ban, the number of times a child was born intact during an abortion, and how they dispose of aborted fetuses.
Goodlatte and Franks also demand a copy of all abortion training materials and procedure protocols used at the clinics in the past 10 years, and to know what abortion methods each clinic used in each trimester for the past 10 years.
“The letter to the affiliates addresses disturbing issues brought to light” from the CMP videos, a Judiciary Committee statement announcing the letter said. Goodlatte and Trent recently sent two letters to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, demanding a federal probe and a detailed history of past DoJ investigations into alleged fetal tissue sale or abortion law violations.
Here are all of the questions and requests in the letter:
- How many clinics are operated by your affiliate? Which of these clinics perform abortions? For each clinic that performs abortions, please indicate how many abortions by trimester were done for each of the past 10 years.
- What steps, if any, do your clinics take to ensure compliance with the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act?
- Which of your clinics use feticides such as Digoxin? In what percent of cases are feticides used? At what gestational age are feticides used?
- Do your doctors sign an intent statement regarding abortion procedures? If so, please provide your affiliate’s policy regarding intent statements, including a copy of any intent statement forms used at each of your clinics in the last 10 years.
- Please indicate by year for the past 10 years, the number of instances in which a child has been delivered intact in the second trimester during an abortion conducted by one of your clinics, including cases in which this happened outside the clinic. Please specify the protocols in place for infants born alive in the course of an abortion. How many times have these protocols been used? What equipment for the care of infants born alive is available at each clinic performing abortions in the second trimester?
- Have your doctors during the abortion procedure ever attempted to keep fetal tissue and organs intact? If so, what methods were used to do so?
- Has anyone at your clinics ever modified or changed their abortion technique in order to increase the odds of preserving intact fetal tissue and organs? If so, what changes or modifications were made? If not, does your affiliate have a policy that expressly prohibits changes or modifications in procedure in order to increase the odds of preserving intact fetal tissue and organs?
- What protocols do your clinics follow for the disposal of fetal remains?
- In the past 10 years have any of your clinics engaged in fetal tissue donation? If yes, which clinics have engaged in fetal tissue donation and for each clinic please provide the following:
- The name of the recipients (researchers, institutions, tissue procurement entities, etc.) to which the donation was made.
- The number of specimens provided to each recipient in each year and the total amount in income or reimbursement received from each recipient in each year.
- A copy of all contracts between your affiliate or clinic and any recipients of fetal tissue donation.
- A copy of the standard informed consent form used for fetal tissue donation. If the form was changed at any time over the past 10 years please provide a copy of each version and the date the change(s) were or are in effect.
In addition, please provide a copy of all abortion training materials or procedure protocols used at your clinics at any time in the past 10 years. For the past five years, please indicate what methods were used each year in each trimester and how many abortions were conducted using each method.