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'DOJ should investigate Planned Parenthood'

Special to the Courier

Congressman Lamar Smith last week joined Republican Congressman Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and 132 other House Republicans in calling for an immediate Department of Justice investigation of Planned Parenthood practices revealed in a series of disturbing videos.
A letter addressed to US Attorney General Loretta Lynch read, in part: "The harvesting of human fetal body parts for sale is an activity which shocks the conscience. Moreover, the tragic ethical considerations, potential for criminal violations, and involvement of taxpayer subsidies raise issues of great public importance.
"As a result, we request the Department of Justice to conduct an immediate investigation into the practices of PPFA regarding the sale of fetal body parts."
Videos of Planned Parenthood executives that surfaced earlier this month raised questions of whether the tax-exempt group has been engaging in illegal activity - trafficking fetal body parts, and performing abortion procedures similar to outlawed partial-birth abortions in order to harvest organs.
Condemning what he described as "gruesome practices," Smith noted, "The remarks of a Planned Parenthood executive that recently surfaced are nothing short of gruesome. In addition to the fact that these practices are morally repulsive, they also happen to be illegal." Adding, "I believe that life is precious, and no life is more vulnerable than that of an unborn child," Smith staunchly supports House efforts to investigate the organization, which were announced on July 15.
Additionally, as a long-time opponent of federal funding being used for abortions, Smith recently supported two bills introduced by Republican Representative Diane Black of Tennessee - HR 217, the "Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act" would prohibit federal family planning assistance from going to any entity that performs abortions. HR 3134, the "Defund Planned Parenthood Act" would immediately halt all federal funding for Planned Parenthood while Congress carries out its investigation.
Smith has received recognition from the National Right to Life for his 100 percent pro-life voting record and recent support of the "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act," which would ban all abortions after 20 weeks.