RELEASE:

MISS. SENATORS PUSH FOR FEDERAL HEALTH AGENCY COOPERATION ON INVESTIGATIONS OF PLANNED PARENTHOOD VIDEOS

Cochran, Wicker Among 49 Senators Concerned Over Planned Parenthood Video

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Thad Cochran, R-Miss., and Roger Wicker, R-Miss., today pushed for the Obama administration to cooperate with investigations into whether Planned Parenthood Foundation of America is violating policies and laws restricting the sale of organs from unborn babies.

The Mississippi Senators are among 49 Senators who signed a letter to Health and Humans Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell seeking an internal review of Planned Parenthood’s compliance with laws and regulations relating with fetal tissue and partial-birth abortions. The letter was prompted in part by video footage depicting senior Planned Parenthood executives discussing organ harvesting.

In the letter led by Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), the lawmakers assert that the video raises important policy questions associated with late-term abortions and asks Burwell to cooperate with congressional and other investigations stemming from the Planned Parenthood video footage.

“This video raises a number of questions about the practices of the organization, including whether they are in compliance with federal laws regulating both the use of fetal tissue and partial-birth abortions,” the letter stated.

“Congress is undertaking efforts to address these questions, and we expect the Department of Health and Human Services to fully cooperate with ensuing investigations – including future requests for information and hearing participation. To that end, we further expect the immediate preservation of any and all Department electronic and paper records that could have any relevance to any ongoing or forthcoming lawful investigation,” the Senators wrote.

The Senators also asked Burwell to confirm that she has “commenced or will immediately initiate a thorough internal review of the compliance of the Department and Planned Parenthood – one of the Department’s grantees – with all relevant and applicable federal statutes, regulations, and other requirements. Please also include a description of the expected scope of the internal review, as well as an estimated completion date.”

Cochran and Wicker are both supporters of pro-life legislation restricting federal funds for abortions and late-term abortions, including Wicker’s No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2015 and the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.

A copy of the letter is available here: http://1.usa.gov/1OofPYI

7/23/15