The House Oversight Committee on Friday penned a letter to Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards requesting seven documents or pieces of information be handed over by next week.
The letter, authored by Reps. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), noted the series of recent undercover sting videos that purport to show the abortion provider engaging in the sale of aborted fetal parts.
“Recently released videos implicate Planned Parenthood Federation of America and its affiliates in potentially unlawful transactions involving fetal tissue,” the letter said. “In the videos, Planned Parenthood representatives discuss the demand for certain body parts, the manner in which patient consent is solicited, pricing considerations, and the methods by which doctors manipulate procedures to ensure that tissues remain intact.”
It added, “The disturbing content of these videos raises questions as to whether federal funds are being used to finance the potentially illegal conduct described therein.”
The committee requested Richards provide seven items to Congress by August 28. Most of the requested information pertains to Planned Parenthood’s use of federal funding. Item five requested that the abortion-provider provide a list of the 50 highest-paid employees. Item six requested a list of the “independently incorporated affiliates” that the organization supports, in addition to contact information. The last requested piece of information requires Planned Parenthood to note “what procedures, services, or other medical treatments are available only or exclusively at a Planned Parenthood affiliate or health center that are covered by either a state’s Medicaid program or a health plan sold via a state exchange or HealthCare.gov under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” .. “Do not include services or procedures that could otherwise be provided by a private health care provider,” the letter added.
The House Oversight Committee also sent a similar letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Matthews Burewell. “According to its 2013-14 Annual Report, Planned Parenthood received more than $500 million in government funding in the last fiscal last year alone, accounting for more than 40 percent of the organization’s total revenue,” it said. “The Department of Health and Human Services provided a significant portion of the federal funds that Planned Parenthood received. It is not clear whether Planned Parenthood used any federal funds to support transactions involving fetal tissue.”
The letter requested information about which agencies within HHS provide funding or support to Planned Parenthood, the total amount of federal funding given to the abortion-provider since 2010, which restrictions are used when applying the funding and a list of services exclusively offered at Planned Parenthood.