tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN September 15, 2015 5:00pm-7:01pm EDT
were born alive, you know -- >> in the 1970s. >> infanticide laws were on the books in most states without the born alive protection act. and they're here. now, i guess my question is, as you are a lawyer, you have been advising planned parenthood -- >> no, i never actually advised -- >> you represented their interests before the supreme court of the united states. >> i actually didn't. i was counsel for different plaintiffs in that case but -- >> i'm sure planned parenthood didn't disagree with anything that you said to the court, right? >> probably not. >> okay. good. we'll assume -- >> i hope not. >> we'll assume that for the sake of argument. now, whether or not planned parenthood broke the law when congress sets budgeting priorities, you know, we have to decide what's important and what isn't and which has a higher
priority and should be funded and which has a lower priority and should not be funded in the age of a $19 trillion deficit. >> right. >> now, could you please tell us why planned parenthood needs to get over half a billion dollars of federal funding every year when there are other pressing needs such as feeding hungry children that maybe we should put that money into? >> let's be clear that planned parenthood is not getting any federal funding for abortions. >> well, money is fungible, miss smith. you and i know that money is fungible so -- >> i don't believe that true. >> -- the question is, you know, whether congress should appropriate another half billion dollars plus to planned parenthood when we could be spending that money on feeding hungry children. this is a question of priorities. i'd like to know what your priority is planned parenthood or feeding hungry children. >> my priority i think -- i
think funding planned parenthood and the services it provides is equal to feeding children because what planned parenthood does is preserve women's lives that are the mothers of those children. it provides contraception -- >> how can they be the mothers of the children when children are aborted through planned parenthood? >> because many women go to plan the parenthood who have children and have families. in fact, even women who are obtaining abortions 60% of women obtaining abortions in this country already have at least one if not more child -- more children so women are often mothers -- >> i guess your priorities are different from mine. >> my priorities are funding planned parenthood high quality health care services to low-income women throughout this country women who otherwise would become pregnant unintendingly and need abortions. i would think as somebody who
opposes abortion you would, in fact, support as does judge cavanaugh of the d.c. circuit the funding of contraceptive services to reduce unintendeding pregnancies and the number of abortions. it's a no-brainer. it makes no sense not to refund those services if you want to reduce the number of abortions. >> i don't think there's statistics that indicate that's the case. >> there absolutely are. >> i'm way out of time so i'll yield back. >> the chairman recognizes the gentleman from new york, mr. nadler. >> i ask unanimous consent to insert into the record a letter from 56 national faith-based and religious groups supporting planned parenthood. >> without objection they will be made a part of the record. >> thank you. mr. chairman, before i start my statement i simply want to say -- i want to clarify when the born alive infant protection
act whatever we called it was brought before the committee i surprised people by saying that i saw no point to opposing it, that it was directly -- it was a deliberate trap designed to entice pro-abortion groups into opposing it. it's already the law of the land against murder. anyone who kills a child outside -- that has been born outside the womb, anyone who stands idly by and does not help it survive is guilty of murder or manslaughter, period, no questions asked, with or without the born alive infant protection act. this is -- was introduced simply to slander the abortion groups to say that pro-abortion people support infanticide. we do not obviously. i would like to express my dismay of the title given to this hearing, planned parenthood exposed. the title alone is enough to call this hearing a farce.
it is wrong and should be beneath the committee to state its conclusion without a shred of evidence and before you receive even a word of testimony. perhaps the majority exclusion explains why not a single representative of planned parenthood is here to testify about its practices and it ignore ignores the pleas from some membe members to hear -- we could have hours of testimony and the compassionate and comprehensive affordable health care services they provide women and families but the majority is not interested in hearing that testimony. if you clear away the rhetoric it appears the chairman has called this hearing to examine how planned parenthood participates in fetal tissue donation which congress made legal with almost unanimous bipartisan support in 1993. in the years since, if you wab to find a cure for diabetes,
stroke or hundreds of other life threatening illnesses fetal tissues and cells are a necessary part of the research tool kit and a moral part. the laws surrounding fetal tissue donation are simple and clear. planned parenthood is consistently and clearly demonstrated that the affiliates who participate in fetal tissue research which represent 1% of all 700 planned parenthood health centers comply with the laws just as they do with thousands of other federal and state and local laws and regulations every single day. that should be the conclusion of the hearing. but before any inquiry the committee has decided to consider planned parenthood guilty. the goal here is clear. to smear planned parenthood, senator joseph mccarthy would be proud of this committee today. sadly this is not the first time congress has been drawn into this charade. every time it follows the same pattern. extremists tried to entrap
planned parenthood into unethical and illegal conduct and make sensationalistic allegations but the claims are often debunked and the investigations find no wrongdoing. this pattern is being repeated here today. mr. b.o.opp i would like to wal through the history. were you aware in 2012 anti-abortion groups had videos showing that planned parenthood was performing sex selective abortions? >> no. >> you know you are under oath. >> i was not aware of that. >> mr. bopp, are you aware in 2011 that anti-abortion groups released videos released video condoning sex trafficking and statutory rape? >> no. >> you're still under oath. and following the release republicans in congress tried to cut off funding for planned parenthood and nearly shut down the government are you aware of that? >> i don't remember that they were connected in that way.
>> okay. but you remember that the two things occurred? >> you know, the older i get the harder -- >> i asked you -- >> i'm trying to answer your question. >> yes or no, do you remember or not? >> i don't know what your question is. >> do you remember that following the release of those videos republicans in congress tried to cut off funding for planned parenthood and nearly shut down the government? >> i answered that question already. >> you answered that the two things that congress tried to cut off funding for planned parenthood and government was nearly shut down you don't remember if they were connected? >> in that way? >> but planned parenthood reporting them to the fbi and once again not true. the list goes on. in 2010 videos falsely claimed women were pressured into abortions not true. 2009 false claims about clinics avoiding parental consent, not true. and false claims about statutory rape not true. and for a real sense of deja vu videos were released claiming
planned parenthood was participating in illegal tissue satisfies but when the man that made those videos came before congress he totally recanted that testimony. were you aware of that? >> i don't recall it. >> okay. what is true is that the people who made these videos are liars in a long line of liars. it is true that if you had a shred of real evidence that planned parenthood was breaking the law you would have taken it to a state or federal prosecutor right away but you didn't. mr. chairman, if you had even a bit of real confidence in the man who made these videos would you have brought him here to testify before this committee but you didn't and you don't have that confidence. the fact is this is all a farce designed to shame women for exercising their constitutional right to an abortion to scare abortion providers into ending their services and to eliminate options for women to access health services. this is all based on lies. knowingly based on lies. i hope the majority comes to its
senses and realizes they have fallen into the same sad pattern of lies and lies that we've seen for more than a decade. i yield back my time. >> the chair recognizes mr. forbes from virginia for five minutes. >> i want to start by apologizing for anybody on this committee for calling any witness that comes before this committee as remarkably ignore rant and i apologize for that statement even though it wasn't made by us. i can understand the voices on the other side of this committee who would say please don't look at the video. this is not about the video. we don't want to talk about the acts in the video. kind of like the wizard of oz pay no attention to the man moving the levers behind there. what i cannot understand is that those same voices cannot say that there is no act that's too far. there's no act that's too brutal. there's no act that's not
acceptable even for planned pashtho parenthood and they want to talk about dollars. miss odom if you are correct on the number of abortions even if they don't report the numbers based on the best evidence we have you are talking about $147 million for abortions last year that was big dollars. and what just startles me is when i hear mrs. smith say -- i want to read this again. this is justice kennedy what the chairman stated. this is justice kennedy's statements not mine. he says this, he said he described at length the testimony provided by abortionists leroy car heart about the althat d&e method for dismemberment procedure. this is what he said in court. miss smith doesn't say it's wrong. she doesn't say it's inaccurate. here's what it says. the fetus can be alive at the beginning of the dismemberment process and can survive for a time while its limbs are being torn off. dr. carhart agreed when you pull
out a piece of the fetus, let's say an arm or a leg, and remove that at the time, just prior to the removal of the portion of the fetus, the fetus is alive. dr. carhart has observed fetal heartbeat via ultrasound with extensive parts of the fetus removed and testified that mere dismemberment of a limb does not always cause death because he knows of a physician who removed the arm of a fetus only to have the fetus go on to be born as a living child with one arm. at the conclusion of a d&e abortion, no intact fetus remains and dr. carhart's words the abortionist is left with a tray full of pieces. and then justice kennedy goes in a supreme court case, the fetus in many cases dies just as a human adult or child would. it bleeds to death as it is torn
and to say that you support a women's right to choose is one thing. to say that you might want to give health care to people is another thing. but for anybody to say that procedure and what you just described is humane, that that doesn't go too far, that's not too brutal, that is humane and acceptable, just defies my imagination. i couldn't imagine that happening to one of my pets much less an unborn child. and then when i look, mrs. smith, i know you state that you're with -- your associate research scholar in law and senior fellow and director for program for the study of reproductive justice at yale law school and i know you're here in your own personal capacity today. but i just wonder, does yale have any study for the rights of individuals like mrs. jessen or
miss odhen to be born without cerebral palsy? because there was a lot of questions when mr. sensenbrenner was raising those issues while ago that are apparently unanswered. are there any such studies up there that would dare suggest the rights of one of these children not to be born with one arm? mr. chairman, that's what just baffles me about this. not that we have disagreements. but that none of those voices that crow don't look at this act, don't look at this act, can find no point that's too far. no point that's too brutal. no point that's inhumane. and then they dare suggest that we are extreme. and with that, mr. chairman, i just thank you for this hearing. and for our witnesses coming here today, thank you for being here. and i yield back. >> thank you, mr. forbes. chair recognizes mrs. jackson lee for five minutes.
>> let me thank the chairman for yielding and for allowing those with a great deal of emotion on this question to be able to project and present their views. i have lived through this judiciary committee for a period of years to the witnesses that i have been through ians of these hearings starting back in the 1990s on a medical procedure that saved the lives of women that were called the partial birth abortion. let me say to the witnesses, i have the greatest respect for your viewpoint. and am grateful for you being here. grateful for your life and grateful for your passion. as an aside, let me say that as a graduate of yale, undergraduate and being very familiar with yale law school, i know that the law school is one of the premier teachers of the constitution.
and well recognizes the rights of all people and would venture to say that there are individuals with different thought from you, i would imagine, professor smith. >> absolutely. >> and, therefore, to my colleague, yes, law school and yale undergraduate schools are producing individuals that have a great concern for the constitution of this nation. so, let me begin my questioning and to ask mr. bopp, would you join in a request to the director of the national institutes of health to suggest convening an expert panel to relook at expert panel on fetal tissue research, would you join in that request? >> i haven't considered that question. >> well, would you -- i'm giving it to you now. >> i'm not prepared to testimony under oath whether i agree with that or not. >> i'm sorry, pardon me? do you think it's a good idea if we have such a dispute here about fetal tissue research,
would it be a good idea? >> i served on a panel that i thought fairly explored the issue that came to conclusions that i believe are not wanted and history has proven were fallacious. >> you would not be interested in having a review? >> i don't know what -- >> let me say -- i thank you for your answer. i thank you for your answer. let me say that the planned parenthood complying with the fetal research commission under president reagan. you may have been one of those that did not agree. but i would argue that the consensus came out and the panel found that it was an acceptable public policy to support transplant research with fetal tissue and as well developed a guideline that said the research in question is intended to achieve significant medical goals. professor smith, is it not true -- and this question's been asked again but i think it should be asked over again -- that out of this long journey of
fetal tissue research the impact in medicine has been overwhelming, dealing wish issues of polio, measles, rubella, the use of fetal tissue cell lines has helped these vaccinations, normal human development in order to gain insight into birth defects and other developmental diseases, has this come to your attention, professor smith, that fetal tissue research in the medical science has generated this kind of productivity? >> absolutely. >> and in actuality, the proponent of these videos was actually trying to highlight the ugliness of what is misdirected which is the harvesting of organs which that was not the case. let me ask you this question, mr. bopp, are you aware of t the -- how mr. dayton was able
to engage in these false and misdirected, distorted and maybe criminal videos? do you know how he was able to do that? >> i've been advised by the committee staff that this hearing is not on that subject and i should not comment -- >> i'm not sure how the committee could tell you it's not on that subject because the videos are all in the leapters that have been sent by the three republican chairs of the committees that are engaged in it. let me just say to you what he actually did. he stole -- stole, stole -- the identity of the president of the feminist club. when he was asked to participate in a lawsuit, mr. delayton invoked his fifth amendment right to refrain from self-incrimination in response to this lawsuit. that doesn't sound like a man who has any truth to stand on. might i ask you, professor smith, if you would, the question was asked to you about
whether or not planned parenthood does anything good with respect to women's health. would you recite that again for me, that separate from the limited right to abortion, under the roe v. wade do they not engage in women's health? >> absolutely. the services that are supported by the federal government include contraceptive services, wellness exams, canner screenings, sti testing and std treatment and planned parenthood does -- serves millions of women, one in five women in this country has visited a planned parenthood clinic. it's a beloved institution not just by me but by most americans because it is one of the few accessible providers of excellent high quality care outside of the abortion area in addition to the limited number
of abortions they do. >> i would like -- >> regular order, please. >> i would like to put into the record and i ask that we not engage in this kind of member attack, i am putting into the record a state-by state data that indicates that through the planned parenthood with respect to health and 2 million patients 371,000 pap tests and 451,000 breast exams, this is cervical and breast cancer screenings of planned parenthood to women who otherwise would not be able to afford it. i ask unanimous consent for that to be submitted and every member state is recorded here of helping these women get health care. another i'd like to put into the record from the young women from urge, unite for reproductive gender equity who indicated that young people are less likely to have insurance and have low-paying jobs. i'd like to submit it into the record. and finally i'd like to submit
into the record from the congressional research service the definition of fetal tissue, what is fetal tissue research and the amazing miracles that have come about from fetal tissue research. i'm not here to push abortion. i'm here to push life and the respect for women and the roe v. wade legality of what we do under the heid amount and i'm not here to disfund, defund, planned parenthood that has now been presented by members of congress -- >> regular order. >> -- members of congress who really should be getting rid of sequester and not be stopping women from getting good health care. please don't stop women from getting good health care. i am thankful for the chairman's generosity and i thank him so much and i yield back my time. >> thank the gentle lady and i recognize mr. issa for five minutes. >> i'd like to have the time she yielded back. thank you, mr. chairman. the gentle lady from texas cited
the heid amendment. i'd like to take a moment. i served on this committee and on foreign affairs with the late henry heid and i'd like to create a moment to create a perspective for just a moment for this hearing because i think the hearing with chairman henry heid's portrait to your right looking down needs to be focused a little bit more on his legacy and a little bit less on what i hear perhaps on both sides of the aisle where we're having a discussion perhaps beyond the scope of our jurisdiction and beyond the scope of what i think the chairman asked for. many years ago henry heid came to california. and no surprise, he was well known for his pro-life position. and the california right to life group asked if they could meet with him. we were together for another reason and he said, sure. so, he got together in a room of very strident, pro-life
advocates in california. and they asked him about overturned roe and they asked him about every issue that you might expect and henry more eloquently than i ever could redirected the conversation to why he was pro-life and why it was so essential that congress take a position. and what he said in my poor interpretation of henry heid was that a nation that does not provide respect for life is not a nation that he or anyone else could be proud of. that the life of the unborn and the concern for their welfare, the life of the newborn, the life of the infirmed and the life of the elderly, all were issues which a civilized society had to promote. they had to promote it both publicly and privately.
he never, as far as i know, supported broadly trying to reverse everything that was done. but he did stand for a question of will we treat people with respect. and i bring that up before asking questions because the questions from what i've seen in these videos, however obtained, seems to have a question of are these individuals, not the organization for a moment, these individuals, do they have a respect for the sanctity of life. these are more than organs. these were unborn who now are hopefully providing life to others so they may live or research. it's legal. it's part of the process. but there is a question about whether an organization and its employees are as efficient as they should be, effective as they should be, as good a stewards of half a billion dollars of our money and whether
or not their conduct is conduct that's inappropriate for this organization to further allow. and i'd like to leave it at that because i think the important thing for us to consider here today is with our half billion dollars every year under any president, including president bush for all eight years of his, planned parenthood receives a large block of money. more than any other organization of its type. other organizations including clinics in my district receive similar money for similar outreach to help women and families. these are funds that the congress has decided with your taxpayer dollars that we will appropriate and deliver for this purpose. so, mr. bopp, i know your long history in the pro-life movement but i'm going to ask you just one question. assuming that this half billion dollars and other moneys are
going to be spent, shouldn't we make sure that they're spent to the best steward of that money for the most effective support of women's health, and shouldn't we take an interest in whether or not that organization and its employees are respectful and supportive of women's health and the quality of life for they and in many cases their children to be born, not just children not to be born, thank you? >> yes, i think that's the proper role of congress. after all, there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of providers out there who if the half billion dollars was not given to planned parenthood could receive those funds for these beneficial services that are not tainted by association with abortion, not tainted by their reckless practices in terms of procurement of fetal tissue, and, you know, i think everybody would be a lot more comfortable with that, that resources would not be inadverntly diverted to
support those activities. but -- and its association would be terminated. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> and i thank the gentleman and i now recognize mr. cohen for five minutes. >> thank you. miss smith, can you tell us what you think was incorrect in the portrayal in the videos of planned parenthood's activities and the use of fetal tissue and the price thereof? >> well, if i under -- >> i said miss smith. >> i'm sorry. >> you're getting older and you don't hear and you don't remember. miss smith, thank you. >> see, it's hard for me to tell from the videos what is correct or incorrect because i don't know -- i'm not familiar with planned parenthood's actual practices. i'm not a lawyer for planned
parenthood. what i believe happened according to the forensic -- team of forensic expert and their report is that the video is -- things are edited out of context and made to look like they were actually negotiating, haggling, one of the members put it, about the price, which as if they were selling body parts and i don't think that's true. i don't think they were selling fetal tissue so -- >> does the law allow them to get reimbursed for the cost? >> absolutely. the law allows them to get reimbursed. so, the discussion of money was about reimbursement costs. and, in fact, even in the edited version the official does say i'm not -- you know, we're not in this for the profit and i'll have to check and see what the reasonable costs are. i understand there were other statements that were edited out of that version that i haven't seen.
>> mr. bopp, his comments, made on some of the videos, he said that they raise considerable concerns and infants are born alive after an induced abortion at planned parenthood and killed to harvest their tissue. this would be a violation of federal law, i believe. what's your response to that, miss smith? >> i didn't see any evidence or hear anything about a violation of the born alive statute. if we're talking about previable fetuses, i just -- i don't see any violation at all. >> and mr. bopp has raised concerns that fetal tissue research may be an incentive for women to obtain an abortion where she might be otherwise conflicted and not do so. can you even make a comment on such a convoluted statement? >> well, i know a number of women who have gone through the process of deciding whether to have an abortion. and fetal tissue donation
doesn't seem to me to be something that would enter into their decision making on that issue itself. so, i can't imagine that that is happening. also, i understand consent and the decision to make the abortion to be happening at a time separate from a discussion about whether given the fact that one has decided to have an abortion, would one like to contribute to the enormous health and lifesaving benefits that can come from fetal tissue. those two decisions are being made separately. and i think the 1988 report recommends that and i think that's appropriate. and it seems to me that that is happening. >> you already commented, but i'd like to hear it again about some of the research being done with the use of fetal tissue to protect people and save people's lives in the future with cures and treatments. >> yes, it's contributing. there was a recent indication from the nih about this, about the importance of fetal tissue
research to many new treatment areas including diabetes, common diseases like diabetes, and uncommon ones like a.l.s. or lou gehrig's disease. and other diseases that we know little about, alzheimer's, parkinsons and there are some promising new treatments in those areas. >> as an individual who had polio and you mentioned that polio was -- >> yes. the early polio vaccines came from fetal cell line research, i believe. >> i appreciate what fetal tissue can do. alzheimer's is an issue that's very important to many in america because so many americans are going to suffer from it and it costs so much in our budget as well as losing our loved ones. >> let me say i do think it is important that we are concerned about consent and that consent is properly obtained from the
woman and like the committee recommended in 1988 that the decision to donate be made at a time after one has already decided whether or not to have an abortion. i think that's a very appropriate safeguard against incentivizing agobortions someh. i find it difficult to think that this would change a woman's mind about having an abortion. women make decisions to have an abortion for all kinds of reasons. this does not seem to me to be one of them. it would be something that one would decide only after one had made the actual decision. >> thank you, miss smith. i yield back the balance. >> i thank the gentleman. i will now recognize myself for five minutes for questions. you know, there's a lot of focus here by certain committee members related to just the fetal tissue portions of it as to the legality or is it for sale. a lot of that. but, you know, one thing that is pretty clear, if you look at the videos you do see that these
little body parts represented what once was a living human -- living feeling human child. and when they came into planned parenthood they were living, human little children. and they died a brutal death while they were there. and we can't avoid that reality. with all of the subterfuge and the distortion and trying to do the bait and switch tactic, don't forget that these were once little babies that were killed at the hands of planned parenthood. in the first video released by center for medical practice, mr. bopp, the senior director of medical services at planned parenthood described the factor of intent as playing an important role in an abortionist's use of the abortion method. she said, quote, the federal abortion ban is a law and laws are up to interpretation. so, there are some people who
interpret it as intent. so if i say on day one, i do not intend to do this, what ultimately happens doesn't matter. because i didn't intend to do this on day one so i'm complying with the law. so i ask you two questions. first of all, do you believe the reliance on intent as she described it represents a validly legal approach? and secondly, what would change if we had the pain capable unborn child protection act on the books here at the moment? >> well, as to the -- i think she was referring to the issue of partial birth abortion and it has been the dodge by the pro-abortion side that that law is only violated if you intend at the very beginning to have a -- have a birth partially delivered of a live child, then killing the child and then
completing the delivery, that that is the process that you intended at the beginning. however, the law doesn't work like that. you know, the intent applies to -- each of those actions that is, for instance, the intent to kill the child once the kid -- the child is partially delivered. not whether this complete process was intended in the first instance. the -- secondly, the -- the pain capable abortion act that was passed by this house of representatives, there is certainly a potential that some of the children who are born intact and potentially alive are, you know, produced at that period of time in which that act would prevent that sort of activity as a result it could
have an impact on the -- obtaining fetal tissue in those instances. >> yeah. well, thank you, sir. miss smith, i'll turn to you. when you were asked to define infanticide your own words were when a baby or an infact is killed. the born alive infant protection act of 2002 clarifies that infants who were born alive during abortions or attempted abortions are afforded all legal protections enjoyed by other persons in the united states. >> yes. >> please tell me if you would support amendments to the federal born alive infant protection act to protect infants born into these incredibly -- born alive infants into these incredibly born circumstances by providing a requirement that abortion providers or their staff immediately call 911 for an emergency transfer to a hospital for the infant born alive at the clinic and to also provide criminal penalties including prison time and fines for
physicians and medical professionals who do not provide medically appropriate and reasonable care to a born alive infant. >> if you're talking about a viable fetus that's -- >> i'm talking about born alive -- talking about born alive. >> a viable fetus -- >> i'm talking about born alive. >> you're saying previable. >> i'm talking about born alive. >> previable. >> i'm talking about born alive. i'm talking about a child born that is alive. is that hard to understand? >> that is not hard to understand but the question is, is it a viable fetus. if it's not viable, nothing will save it. >> viability transscends being born alive? >> like the supreme court i believe that the proper line we draw is at viability, yes, because if you -- >> legal term viability is if the child can do ballet, if they haven't achieved that viability thing then even though they're born alive then all of a sudden
that takes -- that transcends the whole question? in other words, let me ask you for a child born alive, born alive, a child born alive, that means breathing, moving around, born alive child, do you think that we should have some amendments to our infants born alive child protection act to require that 911 be called to provide a transfer to a hospital this infant born alive and provide criminal penalties including prison time and fines for those physicians or medical professionals who do not provide medically appropriate and reasonable medical care for a born alive infant. >> i think our law already protects born alive infants -- >> you are not going to answer the question -- >> i ams a i answering your que. >> if a child is born at five months -- >> five months, okay. >> and the child is born alive
should that child then be afforded protection after they are born aleve? >> yes. >> not if it's five minutes earlier before they move down the birth canal they're not afford eed correct? >> i'm sorry? >> if they are five months -- >> if they are a viable fetus. >> you said they should be protected if they are born alive. if you changed your mind. >> i didn't change my mind. if it is born alive and you have a viable fetus and they deserve protection and they are afforded protection, they were already protected. >> if they're not viable, they're not protectable. >> if they're not viable they will not survive and so whether you have a federal law to call 911 or not, i don't think will protect them. >> well, how do you know it's viable without medical professionals? >> i'm not a doctor, but doctors know how to evaluate viability. >> if the child is born alive, then, is subject to whatever the
doctor says, well, this child's viable, this child's not so we'll decide to let this one live or we'll transfer this one for medical care but not this one -- >> some are viable and some fetuses. >> that's the schizophrenia of this -- >> i think you should be asking a the questions about how to determine viability. i am giving you a legal definition. >> my question to you was if the child is born alive, at five months, should they be protected and you're having a difficulty answering that question and i understand i would have a difficulty -- >> i'm not sure how many weeks that is and also it depends on whether the fetus is viable. some fetuses are never viable. >> whether they are alive or not it's whether they are viable. i understand. i would like to understand. >> some fetuses never are viable at 30 weeks they cannot have a brain, they're not viable. they're not going to live. would you provide aid and comfort? i think you do. but that fetus is going to die. >> provide appropriate and reasonable care.
>> yes. >> that's what we should do. >> yes. >> well, that i will now yield to mr. king for five minutes. apologize i'll recognize mr. johnson for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. this hearing is -- has all of the hallmarks of a third world fourth rate nation show trial. the objective of the hearing is to highlight for my friends on the other side of the aisle or to make the case for defunding planned parenthood. the reason being or the stated reason that they give that, you know, it's an abortion provider. and it's got horrific things that it does to effectuate abortions and so, therefore, we should have a defunding of planned parenthood.
that's what this hearing is all about. i call it a show trial kind of hearing because the accuser is not present, center for medical progress. they're not present. neither is the accused, planned parenthood. and so what we have is -- what we have at a crucial moment in the affairs of the nation, we're coming up on september the 30th which is the end of the fiscal year. we're not talking about funding government operations past september 30th. we're talking about abortion and defunding planned parenthood instead. and we've only got seven legislative days left in this month to put together a budget so that this country can continue to on operate past september the 30th. and indeed we are careening
towards a government shutdown on the issue that's being addressed here today. and it's a show trial. a lot of people are scoring political points. i'll note that on this committee only one female on the other side of the aisle, that's pathetic. the voices that are being heard are male voices from the other side of the aisle that want to continue the attack on women's reproductive health. that's what this is all about. it's nothing new. it's a continuation of a mission that the other side has been on since it's been in power here in congress. and it's a shame that it's engaging in show trials. let me ask this question, mr. bopp. outside forensic investigators have determined that the
released center for medical progress videos have been heavily edited. transcripts released from the cmp videos also include words and phrases omitted from the released videos. mr. bopp, were you involved in the production of these videos? >> i'm advised by the committee staff that this is not the subject of this investigation -- >> i'm asking the question. were you involved in the production of the cmp videos? yes or no? >> if the chairman permits me, i'll answer the question. >> the gentleman would like to answer the question, but he's not obligated. >> no. >> you were not involved. and you were not present at the time these videos were being shot, were you? >> the gentleman is not obligated but he's certainly to answer the question. >> no. >> and you haven't seen these
videos in their unedited entirety, have you? >> no. >> and so based on your answers, you're telling us that you're here to testify about a series of videos that you can't confirm whether or not they're accurate or not? >> yeah, and, you know, this is the -- >> yes or no? >> no, i'm not answering yes or no? >> you're not? if you don't want to answer the questions i've got questions for other -- i have other questions for other witnesses. >> don't trust your lying eyes, right, congressman? >> you're testifying, sir, to videos that you don't even know whether or not they're accurate. >> i've seen the videos. >> you've seen the videos but you've not seen the unedited videos, correct? >> that's correct. >> and so therefore you want -- you want this -- you want this committee to accept your opinions about some edits v ed
videos that you -- this is a show trial. >> i am testifying based upon the videos. >> some unedited -- you are not testifying on unedited videos you're testifying based on edited videos. >> just for my clarity has the gentleman seen all the unedited videos himself? >> no, i have not. i've not even seen the edited videos, but my question is to this witness is about his ability to come up here and testify in a way that people can accept his testimony with any credibility or not. i would -- i would venture to conclude that your testimony is pretty worthless here. but let me ask you this question, mr. bopp, you're a strong proponent of the death penalty, are you not? >> i am a supporter of the death
penalty in certain circumstances. >> what about you, miss jessen? you support the death penalty also? >> in certain circumstances. >> okay. and miss odhen, you -- >> no, i'm not. >> you do not support the death penalty? >> no, i do not. >> i give you an "a" for consistency. >> thank you. >> you're welcome. and with that, i will yield back the balance of my time. >> i will now recognize the gentleman from ohio -- i'm sorry, iowa. i've got to get that right, iowa. mr. king. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i thank the witnesses for coming forward here today and delivering your testimony, and i know that sometimes reliving these things is a heavy burden and i'm always impressed when we have witnesses that can deliver that message from the head and the heart from direct experience. listening to the gentleman from georgia and some of this doesn't
quite fit up with my world view, you might not be surprised to learn. but i notice that miss smith he didn't ask you your position on the death penalty, so i'll give you a chance to tell us. >> i'm opposed. >> you're opposed to the death penalty? >> yes, i am. >> was your earlier testimony that dismemberment of babies is not necessarily an inhumane way for the babies to die. >> you're using the word baby and my definition of a baby is a baby that is born. you are talking about fetuses -- >> you acknowledge that testimony even though -- >> i support d&e abortions. >> and you would not think it is inhumane to dismember this unborn baby. >> i'm sorry, say it again? >> you would not assert that it's inhumane to dismember an unborn baby? >> i would not say it that way. i would say it's not inhumane to perform a d&e abortion on a previable fetus absolutely. >> a previable fetus would be an unborn baby, would they not?
excuse me, i'll just stop this exchange because you went through this with the chairman franks and i think we've resolved that. you have your language and you're sticking to it. >> yes. >> if anybody uses any other kind of term that describes it any differently -- >> i just want to know what you mean by it. >> let me ask you another question, since we have established where you are on this, with many years of practice, and that is do you recall when it hit a news a few years ago that red china, the chinese would bring criminals up on capital charges and through due process, the red chinese due process, convict them of a capital crime, sentence them to execution, and on their way to execution, harvest their organs and use those organs in medical practices in china. do you recall that? >> no. >> it does happen. and i recall that america was appalled by the idea that a
heartless barbaric civilization like the red chinese would sentence someone to death under their version of due process, roll them through the operating room on the gurney and harvest their organs, their kidneys, their hearts, their livers, pancreas, whatever it is they thought they could utilize at the time. and that was the -- the harvest of the execution. we were appalled at the immorality of executing someone and harvesting their organs. does that appall you? >> yes, absolutely. >> i thought it might. and it appalls me. >> i'm glad we agree. >> but i wonder what the chinese might think of the united states of america to be borrowing a half a billion dollars from the chinese, send that money over to planned parenthood, that money that gets floated through their system ends up being utilized however planned parenthood decides. but we're helping to fund an organization that is dismembering babies, harvesting their organs, and selling those
organs on the market. and we heard them negotiating for the price on the market along with the methodologies that would be used in order to harvest more organs. now i wonder, and i would ask you, what do you think the chinese think of us if we are critical of them for harvesting organs from someone who has gone through due process and sentenced to death? >> i have no idea what the chinese think of us. but i do think that the supreme court got it right when it recognized that the state has an interest in the developing and potential life of the fetus. >> i would agree with that. and my clock is rung. so i appreciate you saying. so i turn to mr. bopp and ask you that same question, mr. bopp. would you care to prepare -- have you heard of the practice in china of harvesting organs? have you philosophically compared the two method dolgs and what the chinese might think of us? >> yes, infamy with those allegations. and of course the chinese are using the same utilitarian
calculus that the abortion advocates here are using to justify the abuses that have been documented regarding a collection of fetal tissue, such as professor smith. well, the person's not viable. so therefore you can kill it at will. well, the prisoner convicted of a capital punishment on the way to being executed is clearly not viable. viable means the ability to a long-term survival. so in their calculus, the way they treat human beings or don't respect human beings, then it would be perfectly appropriate to do what the chinese are doing. >> if i could just tie this loop together, mr. chairman. the united states is at least in virtually -- the united states is virtually borrowing a half billion from china, and funneling that money through to planned parenthood. the fungible budget of planned parenthood i will say is being
used to commit abortions that are dismembering babies and selling their organs on the open market by the evidence we have seen before our very eyes. i don't need an investigation to understand what is going on here. i hold those truths to be self-evident when i saw the video. so this congress really, we're informing the public by this hearing. but the justice department needs to investigate and act. and if they see what i've seen by watching the videos, i believe that brings about prosecutions, and eventually convictions. and i call upon the justice department. do your job. you have testified here before this committee that you're an independent branch of the government that is not directed by the president. the president stood on the floor of the illinois state senate and said a woman who wants an abortion has the right to a dead baby. i'm saying there is nobody in this united states of america that should be compelled to pay taxes that are going to pay the interest on the debt to china so that something like this can't happen. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> thank you. i would now recognize ms. chu
for five minutes. >> mr. chair, i'm outraged by the sensational nature of this hearing that makes no pretense of being fair or impartial. and i'm outraged by the accusations made against an organization that serves millions of women in our country. in fact, one in five american women visited a planned parenthood care center for care at some point in their lives. for some it's the only place they can turn to for even the most basic of care. when our economy fell into tough times a few years ago, women, especially low income women, turned to planned parenthood for affordable and primary care service. they fill a vital gap that community health centers can't fill by themselves. the local affiliate in my district, planned parenthood pasadena in san gabriel valley one of the targets of these videos. the center for medical progress tried to discredit them with their heavily edited videos. these five short videos, the ones that have been released by
cnp have 47 splices where content is edited out, but the conversation appears to be seamless. critical context is omitted, including planned parenthood staff members repeatedly saying that there is no profit from tissue donation and should not be. that tissue donation programs must follow the law, and that substantial changes to medical procedures would not occur. and we know from the longer version of the first video that dr. nucatola said at least ten times that planned parenthood affiliates do not profit from fetal tissue donation, making statements such as affiliates are not looking to make money by doing this. they're looking to serve their patients and just make it not impact their bottom line. yet none of a highly relevant and exculpatory packages were included in the edited versions, excerpts that cmp originally released to the national media.
and yet my four affiliates in my local area served over 27,000 women last year alone and saw over 51,500 patients. they did thousands of well women exams, breast exams, tests to determine sexually transmitted diseases and cervical cancer screenings. by doing this, they saved lives. the leading questions in these videos don't lead to these numbers. instead, the questions lead to a discussion about a legal fetal tissue donation program that affiliates don't even participate in for the most part. and so along with my constituents, i'm calling out these videos for what they are, the latest a attacks on women's access to reproductive health care. now republicans are saying that we don't want to see the videos. but the truth is the opposite. we want to see the whole video, not a selectively edited version. and in fact that is why i, along
with 11 of my colleagues sent a letter to chairman goodlatte today saying that the full footage must be made available to us and the public. only then can there be a fair and complete investigation. and in fact, without the full unedited source footage, it is impossible for there to be a thorough and transparent congressional investigation. and so professor smith? >> yes. >> would videos like this have any evidentiary value? in other words, would we rely on our other videos and do you believe the public would benefit from cmp releasing the full footage? >> absolutely. i think cmp should be required to release the full footage. the edited versions would not have evidentiary valley precisely for the reasons you stated, because words are taken out of context and placed over
each other out of time. the way world leaders are sometimes made to appear to be sing pop songs. it's that kind of technique that is used on the internet quite often. and it's used here in these videos. and it's just as unreliable. >> professional smith, you talked about the research panel that determined the effects of fetal tissue examination, that 21 people were pointed to this and the idea of fetal research. can you talk about some of the safeguards that the commission lawmakers would put in place to ensure no wrongdoing? and do you believe these safeguards are working? >> yes, i do. as far as i can tell, the safeguards appear to be working. the fetal tissue is not allowed to be sold. women are consented to the abortion simply to the content to donate tissue. so the incentives for the main actors in these situations are
not -- it's not pushing abortion in any way. it's not manipulating or coercing choice. those are all the things and factors that i hope would be in place. to the extent the committee continues to have concerns about that and the public continues to have concerns about whether this is being implemented properly, i think the appropriate response is another smigs to address the issues and investigate the issue. >> thank you. mr. chair, i would like to enter the record two letters from 11 latino organizations in support of planned parenthood. the second is a letter from planned parenthood to the national institutes of health on fetal tissue donation and medical research. >> without a question. >> mr. chairman, a parliamentary inquiry? >> may the gentlemen state his inquiry? >> i would like to know whether or not the majority is currently in possession of the uned did videos. >> i was going to address that the unedited full footage of
these videos is online. and all you have to do, that incorrect? cmp has stated they released it on line weeks ago. so the point is i would only hope that my friends on the minority would actually look at that. >> mr. chairman, i believe those are the edited versions. >> there is two things. there are short videos that are heavily edited. a and what the cmp calls full footed videos which have also been edited. this is in the forensic analysis report that was submitted to the committee. so nobody that we know of has seen the actual full footage videos. there is short version. >> that's my point of parliamentary inquiry. whether or not the majority on this committee is in possession of the full unedited videos what are at issue in this hearing. >> the answer is no, that we are not. but i would suggest to you that
we're in possession of another of it to indicate that living human viable babies are being murdered at planned parenthood, and their body parts are being harvested. >> point of parliamentary inquiry, mr. chairman? point of parliamentary inquiry? >> one more. >> has the majority received videos from this organization? >> we have looked at the ones available to everyone else online. we have not received anything directly from the organization. >> point of parliamentary inquiry? >> i'm going to move on, sir. >> has the majority communicated with this organization and sought copies of unedited versions of these videos?
>> the answer is we have not received any additional footage from cmp. and with that i'm going to move on. i recognize the gentleman from texas for five minutes. >> that was not my point of inquiry. point of parliamentary inquiry. mr. chairman, my inquiry is has the majority communicated with cmp in an effort to obtain copies of unedited videos or in connection with the ongoing investigation of cmp? with respect to these videos. circumstances they're not in committee records at this time. and we made no formal requests for that. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> and with that, i'll recognize the gentleman from texas for five minutes for his questions. >> thank you the chairman.
it seems to me this hearing is not whether there is a crime that has been committed or not. that is a -- i think a decision for the department of justice to determine later, even though my friend from georgia acted as that defense lawyer defending someone that hasn't been charged in his entire questioning. the issue is whether or not taxpayers should fund planned parenthood. that's the issue that is being before this committee today. i think the name -- this is my opinion. the name is sort of interesting. planned parenthood. maybe it should be planned nonparenthood as opposed to planned parenthood. but that's just my personal opinion. let me -- we talk about women and all of this. i'm going ask the ladies on the far left and the far right at the table, and maybe ms. smith
in the middle some questions. ms. odin, just your opinion, there any reason taxpayers should fund planned parenthood? are there any other options where women can receive women's health care. >> correct. i don't have the statistics right in front of me, but your own state is funding women's health at a higher level at the state level. i was reading something yesterday that there is more funding than there had been in the past, despite the restrictions that have been placed on abortion facilities through different measures. so i think that's a great example that we know that the state of texas is still funding women's health services at an all-time high level. i apologize that i don't have that specific information. but i was just reading it on the plane last night. and, you know, i have to just say as a woman who survived an
abortion, there is something wrong when health care and women's needs and women's empowerment is based on someone's life ending. >> absolutely. >> thank you. my understanding is there is 732 federally qualified health centers in texas. and there are 38 planned parenthood centers in texas. the issue about the videos and was it edited and was it not edited, that seems to be the discussion in congress. do we have the full video. do we have all of the e-mails. do we have the side deals with the iranian nuclear agreement. we always seem to be missing something when we want to make a decision. and here we are wanting the full videos. i think that will all play out.
but the issue is whether or not there should be federal funds for planned nonparenthood. ms. jessen? is it jessen? >> yes. >> tell me a little bit about your knowledge of planned parenthood. i mean, based on your background and your life experiences. you don't have to go into those. but margaret sanger or planned parenthood, what do you know about them? >> well, my biological mother went to a planned parenthood and they advised her to have a saline abortion. so planned parenthood has had an enormous impact on my life. i have the gift of cerebral palsy as a direct result of a lack of oxygen to my brain from that procedure. margaret sanger was quite a individual.
she said -- if i may. >> you may. >> reread this quote that i quoted her earlier. she said "the most merciful thing that a large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it. " and i just that's the woman that began this organization. >> do you have a problem with statues of her in different prominent places in america? >> a little bit, yeah. >> do you or not? >> yes, yes. >> do you think -- just your opinion, based on your life experiences, and i value you a great deal. >> thank you. >> do you think that the taxpayers should fund planned parenthood, an organization that does harvest, if we can use the term, body parts of unborn -- of
the unborn? >> absolutely not. >> okay. my time is expired and i will yield back the balance of my time. >> and i thank the gentleman. and i now recognize ms. lofgren for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. my apologies for having to step out. i chair the california democratic delegation, and we had the secretary of labor meeting with us. and i had to go over for 50 minutes to deal with that. however, i've had the benefit of reading all the testimony, of course hearing the testimony this morning. and, you know, i really -- it seems to me that there are a lot of distortions in terms of how we are approaching it, this issue. the real agenda here is pretty obvious, which is to try and outlaw or eliminate abortion in the united states. that is a right that women have
under the constitution. at least in the first trimester. and i think it's -- this is a thinly veiled attack on that right that women have. now, ms. smith, you are at the law school. you've analyzed all of this stuff. i've got a list of the services that are provided by planned parenthood in my state in california. 117 centers, just over 800,000 patients. it could not be absorbed by the other clinics at all. none of the abortion services are funded by the federal government. it's only these other services, the contraception, sexually
transmitted disease treatment, pap smears, breast exams, and even sex education and outreach. i'm just wondering what the impact would be if you had a chance to look at california's impact if these centers were defunded, what would happen to their patients? >> thank you for the question. yeah, i haven't -- i don't have the exact numbers, but what i know is that, and thing is the terrible irony of this hearing and this idea of defunding planned parenthood is that if you defund the important nonabortion-related services that the government funds around this country, including in california, what would end up happening is there would be a significant increase in the number of unintended pregnancies and therefore also an increase in the number of abortions that would occur. now that's just the impact on
abortion rates alone. we are also talking about the ability of women particularly low income women to obtain high quality services. services that simply cannot be absorbed by state community health centers as has been suggested. we were talking about wellness exam, cancer screenings, pap smears, std testing, all kinds of services. so planned parenthood has become so popular, not because it provides abortions, but because it provides a wide range of services that women and men need to stay healthy. and it does so at reasonable costs and with very high quality. and that's why i support planned parenthood. and that's why a vast majority of the american people do as well. >> well, in my community, planned parenthood not only provides birth control and
cancer screening and the like, but they provide pediatric care. it's whole family. it's not just women coming in. it's women and their children. >> and their children. >> that are getting immunizations and getting, you know -- >> yes. and -- >> pediatric care. >> and that's an important point, which is the name planned parenthood, i would disagree with the member before. the named planned parenthood is indeed very apt. because planned parenthood is about helping people plan their families, plan when they're going have their families and take care of their families to the best of their ability. >> just a final question there has been a talk of shutting the government down and that it would somehow stop planned -- what would happen to funding for planned parenthood if we had a government shutdown, you know, at the end of this month? >> well, i think it -- i don't -- because i'm not an
official at planned parenthood, i don't know exactly what would happen with their funding stream when it would come in. >> it's mainly medical. >> it would be medicaid recipients would not be covered, i assume for their services and for their health care needs and would be unable to go to planned parenthood clinics. and women would go without necessary -- and their children, would go without necessary health care. >> but it wasn't defund abortions because there is no federal money going into abortion. >> no, it wouldn't defund abortion. this question about fungibility of money i think is quite ironic also. under federal law, we don't consider money fungible in this way. because it really doesn't apply in these -- it doesn't move from one sphere to another. for example, in our religious freedom cases, we allow the funding of secular services at faith-based organizations. and we do that, and we say it's not an establishment clause
violation because the money that goes to religious activities at those same organizations is simply funded. so we recognize the ability, and we can keep those things separate in our head in that context. i think we should be able to keep those things separate here as well. because they are separate in reality. >> my time has expired. thank you, mr. chairman. >> and i thank you the gentle lady. and i'll now recognize mr. gowdy for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. bopp, can you describe the process of a partial birth abortion so people will have a better understanding of why it might have been banned, and they may have a better understanding why professor smith would have argued against that ban. >> yes. a partial birth abortion is defined under federal law is where a physician partially delivers, usually the trunk and legs of the baby, leaving only the head in the birth canal.
and the baby is alive. and then takes an act to kill the baby at that point, usually trusting scissors into the back of the skull in order to kill the baby. and then completes the delivery. so it's a way of killing the baby when most of the baby has already been -- is already outside of the womb. >> and there were actually people who argued against banning that barbaric practice? >> oh, yes. i mean, many of the people we've been hearing from today were big advocates for a continuation of partial birth abortions. they have no respect for human life if they consider it to be unborn, or they want to label it as a fetus. and literally anything is all right as far as they seem to be concerned. >> let's go to that point. professor smith seems to draw a line, artificial as it may be between the humanity owed to a
viable fetus and the lack of humanity owed to what she considers to be a nonviable fetus. who gets to draw that line of demarcation between viability and nonviability? >> well, that's a complex question. number one, the -- it is a medical determination on whether or not a child is viable. but it's a difficult one. and there are many gray areas, for instance, the statistics are after 20 weeks, one in four can survive. and we would consider that to mean therefore that anyone born at that point in time ought to be considered viable. but many times you simply don't know until later. and i haven't heard any people that work at abortion clinics are able to make fine and
complex medical decision. >> i think i correctly heard her say that she is not a doctor and doctors should make that determination. i did note the irony it was nonlawyers none of whom was a doctor. and 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 versus wade was decided. but that doesn't seem to trouble him much either. for those watching at home or here, doesn't civil recognize the viability of even a previable fetus when it comes time for the plaintiff's attorney to get paid? there. >> are many instances of wrongful -- cases in various states of wrongful death of the unborn, or criminal laws to punish. >> well, we're going get to
criminal law in a second. let's just stick with civil right now. when it comes time for the trial attorney to get paid we have a different definition of viability, right? >> viability is simply not relevant. >> exactly. you can be two weeks' pregnant, and you have a cause of action on behalf of that unborn child. and our friends on the other side of the aisle, some of them whom were plaintiffs attorneys have no trouble being paid for the life that of 2-week-old. >> the idea of using viability as a standard is really antiquated and most courts have gone away from that to just simply the point that if the child is alive. >> but it's hard to go away from viability when professor smith said there is not any humanity owed a previable -- she won't say baby, a previable fetus. >> that's exactly right. >> did i misunderstand? is there any degree of humanity owed? you've been sitting beside her
all morning. did i miss something? is there something outside the bounds of decency that we really won't allow as long as the fetus is previable? >> well, as i understand her testimony, if the born alive infant is considered to be not viable, then we have a free fire zone. well can do whatever we want. we can kill the life at will, harvest their tire, whatever the case may be. and of course the concern about the producing intact infants, which the -- has been demonstrated in the videos is of course the possibility that these people, that these unborn children are alive. and there is even evidence that one of the intact babies born alive had a beating heart, which is a definition of being alive. >> which is why the videos are irrelevant to our conversation about partial birth abortion. mr. chairman, i'm out of time. >> have two really quick
questions for ms. smith which she can answer with a yes or no. ms. smith, if we were to double the amount of money available to the providers but not give it to someone named planned parenthood, would you be okay with that? >> i would have to know who it was going to and whether they were qualified. >> anyone not named planned parenthood. >> not anyone, no. >> anyone qualified to provide service. >> if they provide high quality services to low income people in the same way planned parenthood yes, frankly, yes. >> so you're okay with us defunding planned parenthood as long as the money goes somewhere where it can do the most amount of good for the same group of people. you're okay with congress defunding planned parenthood? >> not in the current environment where there is no one able to pick that up. >> if there were would you be okay? >> if there were, yeah, it would be a difficult world, and yes. then you can fund that organization. >> so if we can identify service providers that meet that same quality of care not named planned parenthood, you'll support the republicans in
defunding planned parenthood? >> i don't know that you and i will agree on who those people are. and i would have to know who they are. >> how about we just try? >> theoretically. u. >> how about we do that? >> you're asking me a hypothetical question. >> i'll double the money as long as it doesn't go to the folks who donate money to democrats' planned parenthood. we'll double the amount of money as long as it doesn't go to planned parenthood. how is that? >> as long as it doesn't go to planned parenthood. planned parenthood today is the institution that provides the best, highest quality care to women in this country across this nation in cities, in low income areas where these services are unaavailable. >> they're also the target of videos that are barbaric and heinous and subhuman. so as long as we can get that same level of care. >> they provide abortions. >> as a very small part of their services. and that is why you oppose them. and that is the only reason why. >> you have no idea.
i was voting to defund planned parenthood before the videos ever showed up. >> i wasn't talking about the videos. >> well, i don't think we know each other well enough for you to assign a motive to what i'm doing. >> i think vice versa. and vice versa. >> i thank the gentleman. >> i yield back. >> i thank the gentleman. just to clarify, ms. smith, you said earlier that in order to determine whether an unborn child is viable, one would need to ask a doctor. and so consequently works you support a requirement that when an unborn child is born alive, that the child be transported to a hospital so that it can survive if it's viable? >> if it's viable and it's born alive -- >> so kit be transported to a hospital where -- >> mr. chairman -- >> where medical doctors can -- >> mr. chairman, there an intent to have a second round of questions since you are engaging in a second round? >> i'll move on. can you answer the question? >> i would have to see the bill. i'm not prepared to support or not support. >> right now, i recognize -- mr.
gutierrez, i believe you're next in line. >> thank you, mr. chairmanment. let me just first say i thank all of the men and women that work at planned parenthood. i thank them for the incredible service that they offer millions of women that would otherwise go without. the kind of kind, considerate, compassionate, understanding service that i believe women in this country need. and that isn't being offered in other venues. i thank them because just this last year, 500,000 fewer pregnancies. that's a way to stop abortions. this shouldn't be a question of who is for abortion, who is against. everybody is against abortion. but how do you stop abortions? how do you allow everyone to
live in the 21st century? how do you allow women to live freely in the 21st century if they're not in charge of their reproductive system? i think that's key. and i think part of what the going on here is that planned parenthood has a direct association with the pill, with contraceptive. and that fight continues to go on. we shouldn't have that fight. the vast majority of women in america and across the world that have access take birth control. i'm certainly not going judge my wife. we have two beautiful daughters. they're eight years apart. why? because we had access to birth control. we had access to birth control so that we could determine when it was we were going to have children and we could raise those children. we could raise those children to be productive citizens of our society. you know, when you show me that planned parenthood actually was
selling body parts, then we're going to have a conversation about the future of planned parenthood. nobody has shown that. and let's make it very, very clear. medical advances and vaccines for polio, measles, rubella, vaccines against drugs, neurological disorders, immune deficiencies, cancer, parkinson's, we need to continue to have medical research. and part of that medical research is because there is the ability, access to the fetal tissues. and there isn't profitability in it. nobody has shown there is profitability in it. but there needs to be a way that we have medical research in this country. and so i just want to say thank you to all of the women and the men and all of those that labor in our health care delivery system across this country. and especially those who would provide that to women.
80% of the clients receive birth control services. that's 516,000 unintended pregnancies annually. i want you to think about that. and i want you to think about the estimated one out of five women in the united states has visited planned parenthood health center at least once in her life. 20% the women in this country. of course some people don't want them to visit there anymore. and i also want to talk just a little bit about the fact that, you know, as much as we try to have universal health care, we still don't have universal health care unfortunately in this country. and so i just want to talk just a little bit. it isn't about -- i'm not for abortion. do i honk if i see a sign that says honk if you're for choice? yeah, i do honk. we've been very lucky and very fortunate in my family and in my own personal experience, even when we were pretty poor to have access to health care for my
wife because there were people out there that were giving that kind of access. i want to end not by having it -- i mean to kind of say that we're for planned parenthood because we received money. i think it's a little under the belt. this is really about women and about what's the law. so just two last points. this seems to be a question here of morality. and i just want to say that look, when you have members of the house of representatives proposing doma that have been divorced four times, i think we might want to question their knowledge and their sincerity about marriage. of course, that was overturned by the supreme court. when we have clerks that are married once, twice, three, and all of the sudden get religious and say well i'm not going give a marriage certificate to two two men or those two women, maybe i might want to question people's morality. but in the end what you cannot question is this congressman's
right to defend his two daughters' rights. i raised them. i gave them the best i could. and i trust them. and i'm going to protect their right and the right of every other woman to make decisions about their reproductive systems with their conscience. i raised them. i gave them the best values and the best i could do. and i need to respect them now. and i just wish that in this society we would have a system that respected all women and the kinds of decisions that they have to make every day. every day they have to make decisions. and i don't think we're in a position to judge them. and i'm certainly not going to allow others to promote legislation or to promote situations that put that in jeopardy. thank you so much, mr. chairman. >> i recognize mr. labrador for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and in fact i'm really grateful for the words of morality that
we just heard from my good friend luis gutierrez. because this is an issue of morality. this is why we're here today. i want to begin by making it clear that to me it's not an issue simply of whether planned parenthood broke the law by selling fetal body parts obtained through abortions. in fact, i don't know if we're ever going to be able to answer that question, whether it was illegal for them to do what they were doing. the real tragedy is that we're confronted today with -- is that human beings have been reduced to mere commodities. in this practice. and federal dollars are contributing to it. and i think that's immoral. i do not want to contribute to a system that profits from someone's fate, nor do i want to subject millions of taxpayers to supporting this violation of life. it is often a temptation to boil this argument down to medical terms and ignore the real losses our nation faces when we choose to reject someone before he or she has been given a chance to live.
like these two beautiful women who are here today with us and who have testified so eloquently. i commend both ms. jessen and miss ohden for the courage to come before this committee as living expressions of life's potential. i am certain that life has not always been easy for them. but i am incredibly grateful that you were given the opportunity to live and that you are choosing to spend time with us today. i too could be said to be a survivor of abortion. my mother, god rest her soul, passed away ten years ago this month. i love her, and i love her most of all because at the time of her pregnancy when she was a single mom, she was encouraged by people like ms. smith and others to abort me. she was told that the only way she was going to have a life, a good life was making sure that
she did not have this child. and she did make a personal choice, a choice that should be respected. she made the choice to give me life, but not to just give me life, but to give me a good life. to raise me to the best of my abilities to become the best that i could do. she made a deal with her god that if she was going have this child, she was going to do everything in her power to make sure that this child had a good life. even though she was a single mom, she didn't have money, she didn't have much in her life, she was going give me the best opportunities and everything that was available to me. and when we talk about this in scientific terms, we forget we are talking about children. we are talking about human life. we are talking about people who have a god given potential to be the best that they can be and to be everything that they can be. so i hope we don't forget that. and when i watch those video, i have to admit that i can only
watch two of them. i think there is seven or eight of them. i could not watch after the second one. because i was sickened to my core. to me it was immoral. i don't know if it's illegal, ms. smith, but it was immoral what i was seeing on that video. we can have a discussion whether at some point there should be abortions. you and i will disagree on that discussion. but i can tell you that at that point when those videos were showing that abortion, this nation should really step back and decide whether we are a moral nation or an immoral nation. whether we are willing to allow that to happen or not. so i have a few questions for you, ms. smith. you emphasize that federal funding for planned parenthood is not used for abortions. yet you go on to say that defunding planned parenthood would ultimately lead to an increase in abortions. explain to me why you only
associate abortion with planned parenthood in the case of defunding planned parenthood, but fail to recognize the connection when the federal government actively contributes money to planned parenthood? >> what i was saying is that if you defund planned parenthood, you defund their contraceptive services and the care they provide to women. >> so as mr. gowdy said, if we gave that money to other community health organizations, would that be okay? >> if there were community health organizations that provides as high quality care. >> do you think the only community health care in america that can provide this high quality care is planned parenthood. >> currently. >> you're saying the highestment but there r there others? there. >> are definitely community health centers there is a reason people don't go to them and go to planned parenthood. >> you have elaborated about the potential legal violations that planned parenthood may face. even if it's found that planned parenthood did not violate any loss, what justification remains
for using taxpayer dollars to fund practices? >> i'm question, the question? >> you have elaborated that planned parenthood potentially violated the law. even if they didn't violate the law, is there any justification to continue to fund their practices? >> is there any justification to continue to fund their practices? no. the reason there is no justification is that even if the current laws are not violated, they clearly are committing abuses. and violating moral and ethical principles, and violating the safeguards that the -- as wrong as the nih panel was about recommending this research, at least they talked about and proposed safeguards like no financial incentives. when the laws got passed, it was passed by people that wanted to facilitate. the law was written by people that wanted to facilitate fetal tissue procurement from aborted fetuses, and frankly went beyond
what the panel would have limited it to. so, you know, it could very well be that the current laws need to be adjusted in order to provide one, effective protection against these financial incentives. and two, by providing the necessary protection for infants born alive, which you know, we have a witness right here before this committee speaking for the abortion industry that says they're in a free fire zone if they're not viable. >> thank you. i yield back my time. >> and i thank the gentleman. and i'll recognize mr. deutsch for five minutes. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. today marks the first hearing of the first full house judiciary committee after a lengthy august recess. how fitting it is that it be devoted to a bogus and politically motivated attack on women's health care and on those who provide it. let's be clear. the entire premise of today's hearing is based on viral videos that have been dissected,
debunked and discredited. for three years, anti-abortion activists fraudulently cast themselves as biomedical researchers. their goal, to find a gotcha moment that catches staff affiliated with planned parenthood breaking the law. and after three years of deception, they failed to find it. so what did these extremists do? they heavily edited footage to smear planned parenthood, a nonprofit health care provide they're serves over 2.7 million americans every year as some sort of for profit enterprise engaged in a preposterous black market of fetal tissue. conveniently scrubbed out of the parts where staff says that no one should sell fetal tissue, and their goal is to cover the costs of the donation process. in short, these videos are heavily edited and intended to deceive. so why are we here? we've already learned that planned parenthood did not engage in any wrongdoing. they only do fetal tissue donation in a handful of states.
that fetal tissue research was consensually obtained through legal abortions was legalized by congress in 1993 with bipartisan support. that planned parenthood's goal is to fulfill the wishes of those patients who decide to donate fetal tissue to science, and perhaps, perhaps contribute to research that may some day yield cures to alzheimer's and blindness, muscular dystrophy and so many other ills. so fetal tissue research is legal. family planning is legal. and as much as some of our witnesses today like to pretend otherwise, abortion is legal. yet here we are. this deception is like dong hold the first apparently several hearings. the deception has led presidential candidates to pledge to defund planned parenthood, a provide they're one in five american women relies on in their lifetime. well, guess what? no federal funding goes to abortion. so when you defund planned parenthood, you're defunding the over 97% of what they do that is
not abortion. meaning you defund pregnancy test. you defund birth control. you defund screenings for breast cancer and cervical car and ovarian cancer. you defund vaccinations and referrals to other hospitals and specialists and you defund prenatal care. what happens when you defund planned parenthood, a provider that serves over 2.7 americans? you defund access to health care that nothing, nothing to do with abortion. well, let me correct the record here. planned parenthood does spend federal funding on birth control that prevents unwanted pregnancies that may lead to abortions. indeed, in 2013 alone, title 10 sites like planned parenthood helped prevent one million unintended pregnancies which statistically would have likely led to over 300,000 more abortions that year. i honestly don't know why we're here today. but here is what i do know. i know that not a single one of the men sitting on this dais today ever had to cap a sentence
about their education goals or their career plans or financial aspirations with the phrase "unless i get pregnant." i know that federal law already prohibited planned parenthood from using any tax dollars on abortion-related care. frankly, i think all women should have access to abortion regardless of their financial means. i know this movement to defund planned parenthood is not just -- it's an attack on the entire concept of reproductive justice, which is the idea that all women, regardless of their race or sexual orientation or economic background have the right to education about sexual health and the right to manage their reproductive health. that they have the rights to delay child bearing until they are ready to become mothers that this right to control their fertility gives them a better shot at controlling their own destinies. today's hearing, mr. chairman, an attack on the autonomy, and therefore on the dignity of women. i therefore will not dignify it with any questions. and i yield back the balance of
my time. >> and i'm grateful. we now recognize mr. ratcliff for five minutes. >> thank the chair for convening this hearing, although i certainly wish it wasn't necessary, and that the horrifying events that have prompted it had not occurred in our country. i'm grateful for pro-life leaders like chairman goodlatte who are spearheading this critical investigation. and i think it's worth pointing out that's what this is. it's an investigation. and it's the beginning of an investigation, not the end of the one. i didn't come here to make conclusions, unlike some of the democratic colleagues of mine who have been making conclusions from the beginning of this hearing. in fact, the ranking member's opening mark, he stated that there was no credible evidence that planned parenthood had violated the law. he said that before he had heard a single word of testimony here. the democrats in this room, my colleagues across the aisle can feign outrage.
but this is the obligation of congress. if federal dollars are going to fund abortion, we have an obligation to determine whether or not they're using those federal tax dollars to violate the law. so my colleagues can -- across the aisle can be upset, but congress is doing exactly what should it do here today. the gentleman before he just commented on the fact that congress has returned after a month of recess. i can tell you what the 700,000 people in east texas that i'm privileged to represent wanted to talk about. they wanted to talk about what they saw on these planned parenthood videos. now, again, my colleagues across the aisle can say that the videos aren't real. but they're very real to the 700,000 texans that i represent. and i came here today to ask some questions about that. and i think that the texans that i represent, the americans generally have been sickened by what they have seen on those
videos. professor smith, your earlier today you referred to planned parenthood as a beloved institution. i don't know planned parenthood. all i know is what i've seen on the videos and what the representatives have said. in examining that footage, i don't see a beloved institution. i see an organization that appears to have a blatant disrartd for human life, at least what appears on the video. you talked about how those videos are not reliable. but that's not the same thing as saying they're not true. you're not here today under oath to say that none of those statements made by planned parenthood employees were not true, are you? >> certainly some of the words they uttered, many of the statements they said, they did say, absolutely. but i think the videos were edited to make it seem they said things they didn't say. >> again, i'm not asking you to say that they're true. what i'm saying is would you at least agree with me that if the words as you heard them on the video are true, that there were
some outrageous statements made. >> well, we'd have to talk about which statements, i think. >> okay. well, let's talk about some of those statements. ms. o'donnell said, and i'll quote it exactly, "this is the most jest stated fetus and the closest thing to a baby that i've ever seen." and she taps the heart, and it starts beating. i knew why that was happening. the nodes were still firing. i don't know if that means it's technically dead or if it was alive. it had a face. it wasn't completely torn up. its nose was pronounced. it had eyelids. since the fetus was so intact, she said okay, well this is a really good fetus and it looks like we can procure a lot from it. we're going procure a brain. i'm not asking if that statement is true. i'm saying if it is true, would you agree with me that it's outrageous and it raises questions about the legality of actions being taken at planned parenthood? >> i don't think it raises questions about the legality of the actions. i think what she is talking about is an abortion of a previable fetus in ways that are
distasteful to many of us. and i think the language is perhaps not -- is not sensitive to people and how they want to think about a fetus. we often equate fetus with baby. in fact, members of this committee have done so repeatedly today. and that makes us thank about full term jest stated babies rather than fetuses in a very early stage of just station, which is what she is talking about. so when you juxtapose those images in your mind, it becomes very distasteful. but when you're talking about a very early undeveloped -- >> let me reclaim my time here. >> a different situation. >> we're going to disagree about you use the term fetus, i'll use the term baby. but that statement i read, doesn't it give you reason to think that congress should investigate whether or not that statement, if true, perhaps violated the partial birth ban? >> no. >> or the born alive law? >> there is nothing in that
statement. let me talk briefly about -- >> well, you told me that you don't agree with me. we're going have to agree to disagree. with congressman gowdy, you said you would be okay congress defunding planned parenthood if it made those same federal tax dollars available to other providers that were inquired to give health care to women in this country. >> if there was an institution that provided as high quality care as planned parenthood does on a consistent basis. >> no that's not what you said earlier. >> well, let me correct the record and be more clear about it, yes. that's what i'm talking about. >> okay. >> did you know that there are 20 federally funded comprehensive care clinics for every one planned parenthood in this country? >> there are many community health city, and are you wear there are actually 13,000 federally qualified health care centers for women in this country? >> yes. and many of them provide much lower quality health care, unfortunately, than planned parenthood was. there was an investigation
recently in an article. i think it was in salon.com about the difference between community health centers and planned parenthood clinics and comparing them. >> with all due respect -- >> there is a reason people go to planned parenthood which is the care is very good, very compassionate. >> as compassionate as what we saw on those videos? >> people trust them. >> all right. well, we're just going to have to agree to disagree on that. i do want to reserve some of my time to -- >> unfortunately, the gentleman's time is expired. >> then i will yield back. >> and the chair thanks the gentleman and recognizes the gentlewoman from washington, ms. del vanney. >> thank you, i wish i could say i'm surprised that the first order of business is to launch yet another attack on women's health, but i'm not. already this year, the house has voted to restrict reproductive health care in private insurance, to enact a sweeping 20 week abortion ban and to
discriminate against employer employees for using birth control. and now an investigation that is rooted in extreme anti-choice ideology rather than evidence and fax. it's shamable that this question is legitimizing the extremists whose real intent is to intimidate women and shutter planned parenthood clinics. in washington we're already seeing the consequences of these attacks. last friday one of our planned parenthood clinics was the victim of arson, a senseless act of violence. it's past time for congress to stop focusing on ideology and start focusing on the facts. the fact is defunding planned parenthood could have a devastating effect on women's access to care that care includes well women visit, cancer screenings, immigrations, birth control, in fact, more than 90% of the services provided by planned parent hood are preventative. we cannot allow the reckless
actions of a few extremists to jeopardize the critical safety net provided by planned parenthood. and with that, mr. chair, i'd like to submit for the record a letter from 92 organizations, including the national women's law center expressing their support for planned parenthood. >> without objection it will be made part of the record. >> thank you. professor smith, we were just talking about comments that some of my colleagues have made that community health centers would be able to fill the void if planned parenthood was defunded. is -- i'd love to get your opinion on that. is it your understanding that some americans would be left without access to preventative health services if they were no longer funded and those services were no longer available? >> that's right. i don't know the details. i haven't studied all the areas that are without community health centers, but i know that there are many places that simply don't have access to them. i also question the level of
services that are provided in some of those centers as well. and planned parenthood remains the only option for many people to obtain these services. that's definitely true. can i correct the record with one point, also? >> certainly. >> which is something that mr. labrador said that people like ms. smith encourage people to have abortions. and i just want to correct the record and say i've never encouraged someone to have an abortion. i've talked to some women who are friends who are considering abortion and they've discussed their options with me, but i would never encourage someone or push anyone to have an abortion and i just want to make that clear in the record. >> i understand. i just want to highlight in my state of washington planned parent hood has almost 120 -- this is 2013 numbers -- almost 120,000 patients. over 17,000 folks have gone in for pap tests. we are talking about preventive
services that are so critical. >> a huge number of them. >> yes. >> and in your opinion, are there particular groups that would be impacted more significantly if planned parenthood services were no longer available? >> absolutely. women who don't have insurance, low-income woman in particular. women of color in communities which don't have access to high-quality services and don't have health insurance despite the affordable care act and all the gains that we have made there. >> and, you know, as we talk about some of the attacks, you know, that we have seen against planned parenthood, you talked about this in your testimony, there's a history of this. can you elaborate a little bit more on that? >> yes, there have been nine different similar kinds of smear campaigns just since 2000, using these kinds of videos, accusing planned parent hood of everything from hiding statutory rape to -- i forget all the different ones. there have been a number of them
and mr. bob was asked about them previously as well. and that certainly has gone on. every time there's been a full investigation, there's been a huge human cry about it. it gets in the press. everyone goes crazy. congressional hearings are held. things are investigated and the claims are debunked. it's happened again and again and again, and i predict -- i will predict -- that that will happen again this time. >> thank you. it is unfortunate that it is happening right now. thank you, and i yield back the remainder of my time. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from michigan, mr. bishop. >> thank you to those who have shown up to testify. thank you that you've had to sit through this long bit of questioning. it's very important to all of us. i take exception with the last exchange that i heard, words like terms like smear tactics or
smear campaign, attack on women's health, what would you have us do? i don't understand, all of us had to witness what we saw in these videos. planned parenthood is funded by the united states government, by taxpayers. it is our responsibility as members, republicans and democrats to address issues like this, in this format. i think it would be easy just to walk away from this and just pretend like it didn't happen, put our hand in the sand. seems like congress does that a lot. but in this case, the videos were so abhorrent and so unconscionable that, it is our responsibility to step up and have these hearings to get to the bottom of it before we go forward with the same-old, same-old of funding and funding for the sake of having done it before. this is our responsibility. and i just want to make that point clear that i'm not here on
any witch-hunt. i'm a newer member. i've not been a part of anything in the past. i'm not here as republican or democrat, i'm here as an american citizen and a taxpayer, and i believe it's our responsibility to marshal our resources and do it in a way that's consistent with our fiduciary duty. i am outraged when i see that video and i want to be here as a citizen and talk to all of you. i'm sorry about the diatribe, but i think it's important that you see the emotion in all of us. i want to get back to a question that we began with, and that was the discussion that we had about valuable consideration and whether or not any of this testimony, everything that we've heard, the videos is in fact illegal. what is valuable consideration? i offer that as a question to my legal counsel here, both of you. mr. bob, you suggest there's a gaping hole, and it's for
reasonable payments, for reimbursable costs, whatever that might mean. i want to read you a portion of this transcript, if i might. and this is between one of the folks that set up the undercover video and two individuals in planned parenthood. the actor that was there for the undercover video said and we agree that $100 would keep you happy, correct? loren felszer replies, i think so. dr. gator, said well, let me find out what other affiliates in california are getting. and they're getting and if they're getting substantially more then we can discuss this then. the actor says yes. dr. gatter says the money is not the important thing but it has to be big enough that it's worth
while. the undercover person says no, no, but it's something to talk about. it was one of the first things you brought up, right? dr. gatter, hmm. the undercover person says, now here's another thought if we could talk about a specimen, per specimen per case or per procured tissue sample. dr. gatter, hmm. buyer, so if we're able to get a liver/thymus pair, that's $150. dr. gatter, hmm. maybe that's mm-hm. i can't tell by this transcript. buyer, versus if we get a liver/thymus and brain hemisphere, and dr. gatter says okay. and that way it illustrates things. doctor gator. it's been years since i talked
about compensation. if this is still too low we can bump it up. i want a lamborghini. the undercover person says what did you say? and the doctor says, i said i want a lamborghini. now i just read you a portion of that transcript of that video. and i want to know how this appears to me to be a flat fee exchange. almost as though they're at a restaurant picking from a menu. is that not valuable consideration that they're talking about? and have we had any discussion about reasonable payment for a reimbursable cost? >> that is what your last point is what is noteworthy, because paying anything is a valuable consideration. and the exception, which they are trying to exploit, is for reasonable reimbursement of
costs, reasonable paints for various costs associated with the procurement of the tissue. well, the costs don't vary based upon how many specimens you get out of a particular fetus. what varies is how much money you're going to get out of it, and what is noteworthy about that exchange is where was the discussion or reference to, well, what does it cost us? you know, when they're talking about how much. what she was interested in, is what is the market price. in other words, what is everybody else getting for this, not because of our costs, but because of what they're getting. that, that discussion is 100% about maximizing the amount of money that is obtained based on market considerations and based on per specimen -- costs are not going to change no matter how many, by the specimens you get. and not on based on any, any
idea of what are the costs related to the procurement. >> thank you. i know that my time is expired, mr. chair, but if i might, the video to which i just referred to and what this committee has repeatedly referred to throughout this hearing is a material part of this discussion. and at this time, i would askew nan muss concept to enter it into the record, the entire transcripts, all the transcripts from these abhorrent tapes that we have been discussing today. >> without objection. >> -- mr. chairman? >> point of parliamentary inquiry? are those transcripts transcripts complete and full and unedited? do they contain all of the statements? i think a review was done saying that the transcripts were inaccurate. if the committee is going to admit them and rely on them, we should have some affidavit that they are complete, fair and
accurate recordings of what they said and the complete, unedited recordings. >> if i might respond. >> we're going to compound injury upon injury if we're going to admit to this committee a set of transcripts that are inaccurate that distort exactly what happened. we have a responsibility to ensure that they're complete and accurate. >> as the gentleman is requesting that a transcript of the public video be made a part of the record? >> yes, these are the public videos that appear on -- >> so much like a transcript of any other program that is made available through a news organization or anything else, that's what the gentleman is requesting. >> may i reserve the right to object? >> you are not characterizing it. you're putting into the record the public, a transcript of the public record. >> reserving the right to object. >> what purpose? >> i would like to comment,