October 14, 2015

THE HILL: House GOP: Planned Parenthood probes ‘must continue.’

House Republicans are not letting up in their investigations of Planned Parenthood, after the group announced Tuesday it is ending its controversial practice of accepting compensation for fetal tissue donations.

Top Republicans, like House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), are seizing on Planned Parenthood’s policy change as a “good, tangible result” of the investigations. But he and others said it’s not enough to end the inquiries.

“Significant questions still remain about Planned Parenthood’s finances,” Chaffetz, a candidate for Speaker, wrote in a statement.

“I’m glad to see Planned Parenthood is finally recognizing the need to end this disgusting practice,” added Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), vice chairwoman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is leading a separate investigation.

“However, there are still many questions yet to be answered surrounding Planned Parenthood’s business practices and relationships with the procurement organizations. This is exactly why the House is investigating abortion practices and how we can better protect life.”

Planned Parenthood has been under investigation since August after anti-abortion activists released videos accusing several clinics of trying to profit from fetal tissue that is donated for medical research. The health provider has forcefully denied the claims, arguing that the money it receives from procurement companies is only used to cover Planned Parenthood’s expenses.

Only one affiliate in the U.S. still received compensation before the policy change was announced. Still, conservatives say Planned Parenthood’s move adds fuel to the allegations.

“It is curious that, while Planned Parenthood officials maintain there has been no wrongdoing, they still find it necessary to change their policy following the recent undercover videos,” said Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.), who has helped lead the push against Planned Parenthood in the House.

Related: Anti-abortion group: Planned Parenthood move is ‘admission of guilt.’

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