Hatch Joins with Bipartisan Group of 49 Fellow Senators Raising Concerns with Planned Parenthood Practices, Urging HHS Secretary to Comply with Investigations, Conduct Assessment to Facilitate Congressional Review
U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) joined a bipartisan group of 49 of his fellow senators in a letter to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell following the release of footage by the Center for Medical Progress depicting senior Planned Parenthood Federation of America executives discussing in gruesome detail the organization’s role in the harvesting of the organs of unborn babies.
In the letter, the senators draw attention to the legal, ethical, and policy issues raised by the footage and call on HHS Secretary Burwell to cooperate with ongoing and future investigations into these questions.
“The footage 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 senators wrote. “In addition to questions about Planned Parenthood’s compliance with applicable federal law and medical ethics, we believe the footage prompts important policy questions surrounding the issue of abortions permitted so late in a pregnancy – sometimes even later than 5 months – that an unborn baby’s organs can be identified and harvested.”
The senators also requested that the Secretary confirm the commencement or immediate initiation of “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.”
Senator Orrin Hatch also added in a video statement, “This should not be allowed to go on. I want to know just exactly what HHS is doing. They need to get on top of this really heinous activity.”
The full text of the senators’ letter can be found here.
The complete list of the 50 senators who signed the letter is as follows: