Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton testified today in front of the Texas Senate Committee on Health and Human Services regarding the active ongoing investigation into Planned Parenthood’s practices. The investigation follows the recent publication of several videos showing Planned Parenthood officials apparently discussing the harvesting and sale of human baby body parts.
The Texas Attorney General’s Office (OAG) announced the investigation on July 15 in coordination with the Texas Governor’s Office and Health and Human Services Commission. In his testimony, Attorney General Paxton revealed some of what OAG investigators saw at a clinic in Houston and denounced the institution of abortion.
Excerpts from Attorney General Paxton’s testimony are below:
“As you all know, several weeks ago, videos began to surface of Planned Parenthood officials talking candidly, and bluntly, about the prospect of essentially selling body parts of aborted babies. Shortly thereafter, my office, coordinating with Gov. Abbott and officials at the HHSC, launched an investigation into Planned Parenthood’s activities in Texas. Our goal is to find out if anyone anywhere in Texas has violated the law, and if so, to seek legal redress.”
“Our investigators are working across Texas to gather information and evidence relevant to the case. Last week, after a meeting at a Houston Planned Parenthood clinic, officials there invited our team to take a look around, including a stop at what they call the ‘POC Room.’ POC stands for ‘Products of Conception.’ There, lab technicians receive the remains of aborted children – also known as ‘the products’ – which are washed, examined, bagged, refrigerated, accumulated and every week taken away by a contractor that burns their bodies as medical waste.”
“As my staffers watched, a technician took an aborted child from a jar, rinsed it in a colander, and placed the body parts in a tray. Fingers and toes, exceptionally tiny but fully-formed, were clearly visible. The remains were eventually deposited in a red plastic bag, about the size of an average grocery sack. According to the people at the facility, they average at least 260 pounds of “medical waste” a week, every week.”
“The videos that have made all the headlines raise a large number of troubling allegations, allegations that – again – my office is aggressively investigating and we will go to any and all lawful lengths to get to the bottom of what has been happening. But more than any misdeeds involving the sale of aborted baby parts is this fundamental truth: the true abomination in all this is the institution of abortion.”
“Even if their body parts are never sold, or never used for research, for the babies who are killed in abortion clinics – more than 54,000 last year in Texas and more than 57 million in the United States since 1973 – their fate is a plastic bag in a refrigerator, and anonymous disposal in an incinerator somewhere.”
“For us, when we pass on, our bodies will be treated with reverence and respect, even those of us who choose to donate our remains to science. Even the remains of our most vicious criminals are treated with respect. For the children who never had a chance at life, however, they become so-called medical waste, or – alternatively – a commodity to be bargained for. Neither fate is an appropriate end for any human being.”
“At a minimum, the people involved project a cold, calculating, almost inhuman indifference to the lives they treat as a product they’re attempting to sell. At worst, they may represent a violation of state and federal laws. My office will continue to investigate these issues, and – if necessary – we will seek to bring any Texans that might be involved to justice.”
“Over the past several days, there have been reports that my office, as part of our investigation, has gained possession of hours of video recordings involving a Texas branch of Planned Parenthood. These reports are accurate. I cannot go into detail about these recordings at this time, but they appear to be consistent with other videos that have been released regarding Planned Parenthood.”
“This [hearing] is a strong example of our state’s leadership working together to ensure the people of Texas are fully aware of what’s going on within our state’s borders.”
It is unclear which Planned Parenthood was visited but the Houston Mega Center has been a part of the pro-life sting according to reports.
Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast in Houston has participated in fetal tissue donation, partnering with the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston in 2010 for a study on causes of miscarriages.
Soon after the first undercover video was released, state leaders ordered investigations into Planned Parenthood, the Texas Tribune reported.
That investigation has included visits to the Houston clinic by representatives of the Department of State Health Services and the attorney general’s office, Planned Parenthood officials said Sunday. The investigators requested information about the clinic’s practices regarding fetal tissue donations, Tafolla said.