Pennsylvania Rep. Tim Murphy, a member of the House Pro-Life Caucus and chairman of the Energy and Commerce subcommittee investigating the video, and
Arizona Rep. Trent Franks, both said Wednesday that they reviewed the video weeks ago, but held off releasing it to the media to do “due diligence,” the report says.
The revelations by Murphy and Franks come after House Republican Speaker John A. Boehner and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other GOP lawmakers, called on the Obama administration “to denounce, and stop, these gruesome practices.”
A House committee and at least two states have opened investigations into Planned Parenthood Federation of America, which has roundly condemned the secretly recorded video that claims to show one of its senior administrators discussing the sale of fetal organs obtained from controversial partial abortion procedures, saying the video was “deceptively edited” by the Irvine, California-based anti-abortion group, the Center for Medical Progress, to create the appearance of wrongdoing.
Planned Parenthood officials say the administrator was speaking in the video about standard reimbursement fees for costs associated with tissue donation programs, “which every health care provider has and which the federal law provides for.”
Murphy spokeswoman Gretchen Andersen told CQ Roll Call on Thursday the congressman had a responsibility to do “due diligence” before starting an investigation.
Another Pro-Life Caucus and Judiciary committee member, GOP Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona, said Wednesday he had also seen the video about a month ago.
Asked why steps weren’t taken immediately after he viewed the video, Franks said in an email, “The hope was to have as much information as possible so that the authorities could be notified effectively before the media.”
We applaud the lawmakers’ decision to investigate the video before releasing it to the media. To be sure, questions abound about the video.
On Thursday, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Cecile Richards, apologized for the “tone and statements” made by a staff member in a hidden camera video released by an anti-abortion group. But she said her group “stands behind our work to help women and families donate tissue for medical research.”