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Fri Jul 31, 2015, 12:15 AM

Texas Senate's Fetal Parts-Sale Hearing Was as Bizarre as You'd Expect

The point, if there was one, was to say the words "baby parts" as many times as possible, as if they were a mantra.

For four and a half hours Wednesday, the Texas Senate Committee on Health and Human Services solicited testimony about fetal tissue donation from anti-abortion activists, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and state health officials. They did not hear anything from Planned Parenthood, the women's health provider targeted in secretly filmed videos made by the Center for Medical Progress, a group that calls themselves citizen journalists but has deep ties to the most rabid and violent fringes of the anti-abortion movement.

CMP's heavily edited videos show Planned Parenthood executives discussing the elective process of fetal tissue donation. Potential reimbursements for transportation and storage costs are discussed, leading to the accusation gleefully leveled by CMP and others that Planned Parenthood is selling harvested fetuses for parts. Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Paxton have taken full political advantage of the videos, ordering investigations of any potential fetal tissue donation programs in Texas, despite the fact that no Planned Parenthood in Texas has participated in such a program in five years. That's not important, though, as Paxton said Friday in front of the committee. What's important is getting rid of legal abortion in Texas.

"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," Paxton said. "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."

Read more: http://www.dallasobserver.com/news/texas-senates-fetal-parts-sale-hearing-was-as-bizarre-as-youd-expect-7442948

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