Inside the Beltway: 'Fetal tissue industry' gets close scrutiny on Capitol Hill

The House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives was established six months ago to gather cogent factual information about abortion service providers and middlemen procurement organizations that sell fetal tissue for profit

The House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives was established six months ago to gather cogent, factual information about abortion service providers and middlemen procurement organizations that sell fetal tissue for profit.

“This is about getting answers to questions about how we treat and protect life in this country,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Vice Chairman Marsha Blackburn at the time.

These days, the 14-member bipartisan panel has been busy reviewing exhibits, workflow graphics and pricing charts that are part of the business model for the “fetal tissue industry.”

They are ready to listen and to be heard. On Wednesday the panel will conduct a hearing titled “The Pricing of Fetal Tissue.” Republican Sens. Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire are among the eight witnesses scheduled to appear at the event that follows a Government Accountability Office decision earlier this month to investigate how taxpayer funding is specifically used by Planned Parenthood and other federally funded organizations that perform or promote abortion.

“Procurement technicians are trained to work with clinic staff to target women coming in for abortions based on gestational age. They are told to quickly obtain consent from women at one of the most vulnerable points in their lives, relying on consent forms that are misleading — at best — concerning the likelihood of ‘cures’ resulting from research using fresh baby organs,” says Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List.

“The procurement techs are promised bonuses for particular baby parts, with stomachs, bladders and lungs resulting in a higher per-item bonus than ears, kidneys or tongues. This barbarism degrades our nation and violates federal laws against such profiteering. We commend the Select Panel for its investigative work thus far and call on the Department of Justice to take immediate action,” Mrs. Dannenfelser adds.

Catherine Glenn Foster — a scholar at the Charlotte Lozier Institute, a research arm of the pro-life group — will testify as an attorney on the federal statutes governing fetal tissue research. Yes, C-SPAN will be there at 10 a.m. EST.

REPUBLICAN SUMMATION OF THE PRESIDENTIAL JOURNEY

The clock is ticking on President Obama’s time in office; the legacy quest is in motion. Mr. Obama has departed on a six-day journey to the Middle East and Europe to meet with the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Great Britain and Germany. The Republican National Committee is not impressed.

“Obama’s trip: Farewell to failed leadership: The Obama foreign policy began with an overseas apology tour, and concludes with an overseas damage control tour,” the organization noted in summary shortly after Mr. Obama departed from the South Lawn of the White House aboard his Marine One helicopter on Tuesday.

Showbiz still calls though. A special 360-degree camera had been set up in both the press briefing room and on the lawn to record video footage. Historic? No, it’s all for a video to be shown during the White House Correspondents Association’s annual dinner at month’s end. So says eagle-eyed John Bennett, a Roll Call reporter covering the big goodbye who happened to spot the “disc-shaped” camera and made an inquiry.

SAVAGE FURY

Talk radio host Michael Savage has revealed that listeners often ask him this question: “Who do you really fear most? The vast right-wing conspiracy or the vast left-wing conspiracy?”

His response, during a recent broadcast: “If you analyze both sides of the equation, you will come to see the right wing supports God, country, family, the military and has far higher moral standards than the left. The left operates specifically to undermine God, country, family and the military. The left uses the courts to undermine the popular will. What they cannot gain through the ballot box they gain through the gavel. And so, my friends, if God could vote, he would be a member of the vast right-wing conspiracy.”

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