A select House committee will soon convene to investigate the connection between the abortion industry and the organizations that received organs and other parts from aborted babies and the medical practices behind the relationship.
In one of his final acts, House Speaker John Boehner announced the special committee and tapped Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee, as the chairman.
Blackburn says the focus of the committee is straightforward.
“We want to look at the procurement organizations, the selling of baby body parts, and big abortion and see what the relationship is between the two and look at the abortion practices involved with the abortion providers and then look at the business practices of the procurement organizations,” said Blackburn.
Blackburn says the scope of the committee is set but the conclusions will only come after a dogged pursuit of the truth.
“We anticipate digging down into those issues, taking the time necessary to get to the facts and then following where the facts lead us,” said Blackburn. “I certainly don’t want to do anything that would predetermine any outcome or any expectation of the investigation.”
However, there are specific questions within that scope that Blackburn says need to be answered.
“Let’s have an investigation as to exactly what has taken place and how it was taking place and how, under the existing law, they were able to establish a business model. We’ll have the opportunity to review all of that and the committee members, for the sake of millions of Americans, want to get to the answers on this,” said Blackburn.
The special committee is the latest fallout from the series of undercover videos released by the Center for Medical Progress. Blackburn says the videos played a key role on this issue, leading the public to demand answers.
“The videos brought to light to the American people that sale of baby body parts was taking place in the United States. They have expressed concern about that and a majority of Americans feel like, especially when they see the videos, that there should be a review of this and get to the bottom of it,” said Blackburn.
On Tuesday, the group unveiled another, this one showing Texas abortionist Dr. Amna Dermish seeming to admit she performs illegal partial birth abortions in order to obtain intact organs for procurement companies while a colleague refers to the fetal organs that are harvested as “cute.”
Blackburn says the alleged and even admitted use of partial birth abortions will also be scrutinized.
“Business practices is one portfolio of issues. The other is going to be the medical practices. In looking at these second and third trimester, the partial birth abortions, some of these procedures (and) manipulations of abortions, all of that will come up for review,” said Blackburn.
Will the Republicans have any cooperation in this effort, either from Democrats or the abortion industry? Blackburn says the Democrats should have nothing to fear.
“I would hope that everybody would want to get to the facts in this to see what has transpired with the sale of the baby body parts. It’s not as if people are denying it has taken place,” she said.
She says the same motivation should apply to Planned Parenthood and the procurement firms. In fact, Blackburn says those organizations should be just as mad as anyone else at how their employees conducted themselves in the videos.
“When you look at the videos and you hear the casual, callous nature of the conversations surrounding the sale of the baby body parts, it behooves you to say, ‘Okay, we’re going to work with you all to root out the bad actors and to make certain that we get the correct answers,'” said Blackburn.
Four of the eight Republicans on the panel are women. While Democrats and the media often portray Republicans as anti-women, Blackburn says women deeply value life and they don’t like the grisly way the abortion industry operates.
“When you look at the opinions of the American public, an overwhelming majority are against late-term abortions and an overwhelming majority are against the selling of the baby body parts,” said Blackburn.
She says the committee will hold its first meeting next week and work until all the key facts are gathered.