A U.S. Congressman from Florida is facing heat this week for being the only Republican to vote to end a government investigation of Planned Parenthood.
U.S. Rep. David Jolly joined pro-abortion Democrats on May 17 in voting to shut down the Select Panel on Infant Lives, which is conducting an in-depth investigation into the abortion industry, LifeNews reported. The vote failed.
The Congressional investigation began after undercover videos by the Center for Medical Progress caught top Planned Parenthood officials selling aborted babies’ body parts. In the past few months, the panel has uncovered evidence that the abortion business deceived women on its consent forms and illegally profited from the sale of aborted babies’ body parts. However, the committee has been under constant attack by pro-abortion legislators, many of whom have received campaign donations from Planned Parenthood.
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Jolly is running for U.S. Senator Marco Rubio’s soon-to-be open seat, but his vote siding with pro-abortion Democrats could hurt his campaign.
Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, who also is running for the seat, launched an ad this week that exposes Jolly’s vote siding with Planned Parenthood, Politico Florida reports. The 15-second web ad called the vote a “major folly” and accused Jolly of “Promising to fight Planned Parenthood, he was the only Republican who voted to end the investigation into their selling of fetal baby parts.”
Jolly defended his vote against the investigation during a recent Senate forum, according to Politico.
“When my side of the aisle asked for an investigation of Planned Parenthood, I actually voted no. I was the only Republican to vote no,” Jolly said. “Should the issue be looked at? Yes. But there were already three committees looking at the issue. We didn’t need a fourth. We’re either going to be the party of less government or not.”
In a message on Facebook, Jolly also defended himself, saying he introduced legislation to defund Planned Parenthood last year. He said he believes life begins at conception, but he also believes that the government should not spend millions of taxpayer dollars on another congressional investigation.
The Susan B. Anthony List was not convinced. SBA President Marjorie Dannenfelser said Jolly betrayed the pro-life movement with his vote, according to The Blaze.
“Planned Parenthood has been caught on tape discussing the brutal harvest and sale of baby body parts,” Dannenfelser said. “How can anyone in good conscience stop the investigation of these horrors? Does it matter if there is profit or illegal abortion methods involved in pursuit of thymus, heart, brain, liver of these children? Of course it does. The question is why would Rep. Jolly buy into Planned Parenthood’s talking points to halt the inquiry?”
Recently, a new white paper on the pricing of aborted baby parts from the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives revealed Planned Parenthood appears to be breaking the law. The document points out that “to profit from the acquisition or transfer of fetal tissue violates Title 42 USC §289 g-2, which prohibits the transfer of any fetal tissue for valuable consideration that exceeds the reasonable costs associated with the procurement.”
The white paper and accompanying exhibits show that the middleman company StemExpress does all of the work to transfer the aborted baby parts — making it so Planned Parenthood is spared any significant expense, thus leaving it with pure profit from the sale of the parts.
“The [abortion clinic] has no costs so the payments from the [procurement business] to the [abortion clinic] are pure profit,” the report concludes. “All costs are born by the [procurement business] or the customer. The payments from the customer to the PB exceed its cost by a factor of 300 to 400 percent.”
The document also reveals 1 in 5 abortion clinics, whether they were affiliated with Planned Parenthood or independent abortion centers, were selling the body parts of aborted babies when CMP began exposing the sales at Planned Parenthood. This contradicts Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richard’s statement that only 1 percent of her abortion clinics were involved in “fetal tissue donation.”
Pro-abortion Democrats have been ignoring this evidence and attacking the investigative effort.
In the letter written by U.S. Reps. Bill Foster and Zoe Lofgren, they accused pro-life legislators on the panel of “endanger[ing] health care providers and patients with its extreme rhetoric claiming that Planned Parenthood is selling baby parts.” They also accused them of “intimidating” scientific researchers who are using fetal tissue in research by subpoenaing documents from research groups that worked with abortion clinics.
“It is clear that this Panel serves no other purpose than to carry out politically-motivated attacks on Planned Parenthood and it should be dissolved immediately,” they wrote.
In addition, they blamed pro-life legislators for attempting to stall scientific research using aborted babies’ body parts that they claim could help find cures for diseases and save lives.
U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who chairs the panel, told LifeNews in April: “The release of videos last summer raised the question of whether abortion clinics and middleman tissue procurement businesses were profiting from the sale of baby body parts, organs and tissues. When questions are being raised about the possibility that a federal statute has been violated, Congress has a duty to the taxpayers to find the facts and get to the bottom of what is actually going on.”