JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A Missouri Senate interim committee to investigate the allegations against Planned Parenthood met for the first time Monday.
The Sanctity of Life Committee was formed last week by Senate Pro Tem Tom Dempsey with Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, named as its chair after a video was released accusing Planned Parenthood of harvesting the organs and tissue from fetal remains.
Earlier this month, the Center for Medical Progress released a video that appeared to show a senior Planned Parenthood executive discussing in detail, the ways in which the organization made a profit on various body parts from the remains of aborted fetuses. Critics have noted that the footage appears heavily edited and disingenuous.
Schaefer said the meeting laid the groundwork for what the committee would investigate over the coming months.
“We’ll be asking for documents from Planned Parenthood and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.” Schaefer said. “We have the ability to issue subpoenas.”
The interim committee will have to report on their findings by the end of the year.
Schaefer said they would use any means in an attempt to find the facts to ensure the “disgusting” actions in the tape had not happened in Missouri. He also said the committee would look into whether or not any legislation needed to be written to ensure that such acts did not and never would occur in the state.
Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale, spoke at length during the meeting on the atrocities in the video.
“For me, like so many Missourians, watching the videos… to see the cavalier nature in which senior leaders of Planned Parenthood talked about crushing an unborn child above the heart, lungs and liver and below, to preserve them as what was described as ‘for sale,’ all of this being discussed in between sips of wine and bites of salad, is sickening and it shocks the conscience,” he said. “This idea that PP is systematically and meticulously harvesting organs from babies for profit is a terrible revelation and shows a complete, utter and unequivocal disregard for human life.”
Numerous statewide and national pro-life figures have called for investigations into Planned Parenthood after the video was released.
The Center for Medical Progress, is itself being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice for possible excessive editing to misrepresent how Planned Parenthood operated its organ donation program.