Crown Heights

Clarke blasts GOP over Planned Parenthood probe

December 6, 2016 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke says allegations against Planned Parenthood “are completely unsubstantiated.” Photo courtesy of Clarke’s office

House votes to allocate funds to continue investigation

Charging that Republicans in the House of Representatives are wasting their time and taxpayer dollars on an endless round of investigations into Planned Parenthood, U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke said she voted against a new bill to double the funding to continue the probe.

The House recently voted 234-181 to allocate $800,000 for the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives, a panel that Clarke (D-Central Brooklyn) said is continuing to pursue unsubstantiated allegations against Planned Parenthood despite evidence to the contrary.

USA Today reported that the $800,000 nearly doubles the funding the panel had previously received from Congress. The new funding is in addition to the $790,000 that had been previously approved for the panel’s budget, according to USA Today, which reported that the panel is on track to spend more than $1.5 million by the end of the year.

The 14-member panel, chaired by U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), is looking into the medical practices and business dealings of abortion providers.

House Republicans authorized the panel in 2015 after undercover videos surfaced accusing Planned Parenthood of breaking federal laws by selling organs of aborted fetuses. Planned Parenthood leaders have denied the allegations.

In an op-ed published last year in U.S. News and World Report, Blackburn wrote that the investigation is necessary. “Not only is this a conversation that we must have as a nation, it is also long overdue,” she wrote.

But Clarke said the probe is an attempt by pro-lifers to interfere with a woman’s right to choose.

“For more than a year, the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives has pursued a series of false claims about Planned Parenthood without discovering anything illegal or, for that matter, unethical. A review of these allegations demonstrates that their claims about Planned Parenthood are completely unsubstantiated and seem instead to have been a part of a coordinated attempt by anti-choice activists to discredit Planned Parenthood and undermine the right of women to comprehensive health care,” Clarke said in a statement.

Planned Parenthood provides vital health care treatment to millions of men and women across the country, according to Clarke.

“Planned Parenthood provides critical health care services to more than three million men and women each year, and has worked to eliminate the disparities that exist in health care in the United States by providing comprehensive medical services to individuals with private health insurance, individuals without health insurance and individuals with Medicaid. I am deeply disappointed that Republicans in Congress have persisted in their attempt to defund Planned Parenthood, which would negatively impact its invaluable contributions to health care in the United States,” she said.