Jolt axth2t

U.S. representative Suzan DelBene (D-1, WA) is one of the Democrats sitting on a special 14-member house committee that the Republicans set up to investigate Planned Parenthood.

The investigations were prompted by undercover videos of Planned Parenthood officials that appear to catch Planned Parenthood discussing the sale of fetal tissue for profit; that's illegal.

The frankly amateurish videos, however, are highly edited and Planned Parenthood executive director Cecile Richards has dismissed them as frauds, explaining they are doctored versions of conversations that show Planned Parenthood engaged in the legal, "life saving" practice of donating fetal tissue for medical research; any money is payment to Planned Parenthood for recouping the storage and transport costs, which is a legal part of this standard research practice. Since the controversy blew up this summer and fall, the organization went the extra step of saying it would cover the costs. (For the record, reportedly only two of 700 Planned Parenthood clinics even donate fetal tissue in the first place.)

DelBene explained last month that she's there to play defense, saying: "I will push for this committee to focus on the facts, not an ideological war against women’s access to health care.” (The committee hasn't met yet, though her own judiciary committee, as well as the energy and commerce committee, and the oversight committee have all held hearings on Planned Parenthood )

When she went on a C-SPAN talk show yesterday, however, a caller—a self-identified Independent voter from Pennsylvania—challenged DelBene's motives. "Is she just there to throw a monkey wrench into things? We want answers. If she doesn't want to investigate, bow out. The American public doesn't want baby parts being sold for profit.... If you don't want to give us [answers], if you don't want to do your job, we'll find people that will."

Watch, the typically hypermellow DelBene address the caller a notch above her usual placid demeanor—enough to earn her today's Jolt.

Start at the 21:50 mark where, after noting that three previous investigations found no illegal activity, she outlines the kind of investigation she'd now like to have—one that gets to the bottom of the doctored videos. 

DelBene makes the same point at the 3:00 minute mark, when she turns the tables on the call for an investigation, saying: "We haven't taken a look at any real information about, frankly, how the videos were put together and maybe illegal activity that may have taken place by the folks that put together the videos."

Progressives may be disappointed, though, that DelBene refers to the recent attack at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood as an "extreme act of violence" rather than identifying it as terrorism.

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