- The House voted Wednesday to form a special committee tasked with investigating questions around abortions and fetal tissue procurement in response to the campaign launched against Planned Parenthood in July.
- The intent is to streamline the investigation that has previously been handled by three separate House panels.
- The committee, to be comprised of eight Republicans and five Democrats, will also have additional resources for its investigation, including the power to subpoena documents and testimony, the Washington Post notes.
The committee itself is controversial, not only because it will investigate the politically charged subject of Planned Parenthood, but because it is empowered with a reach that extends beyond investigating that single organization.
The designation of “Planned Parenthood” is not included in House resolution that established the special committee, the Post notes. As a result, the committee's jurisdiction is far more extensive, encompassing “medical procedures and business practices used by entities involved in fetal tissue procurement” and “any other relevant matters with respect to fetal tissue procurement.”
The resolution also empowers the committee to investigate federal funding for abortion providers; the practices of second- and third-trimester abortion providers; and procedures for when a child is born alive during an attempted abortion. It further empowers the committee to recommend updates to laws and regulations based on its investigation.