Following Allegations, Colo. Hearing Considers Planned Parenthood Defunding

A pair of lawsuits and an undercover video provide the basis for state lawmakers’ questioning whether the abortion provider should continue to receive public funds.

(photo: CNA)

DENVER — Legal experts will testify Monday before the Republican Study Committee of Colorado on whether Planned Parenthood’s Colorado affiliate should be investigated and defunded for allegedly selling baby body parts and neglecting to report the rape of a minor.

“Planned Parenthood does not deserve taxpayer funding, but other legitimate health-care centers do,” said the Colorado Family Action executive director, Debbie Chaves, who will attend the hearing.

“In Colorado, there are 60 pregnancy-resource centers that offer a variety of women’s health services, including cancer screenings and mammograms, which Planned Parenthood fails to provide,” she told CNA. “In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration [FDA] reports that there are 8,735 licensed mammography facilities in America, but Planned Parenthood operates none of these.”

Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains (PPRM) has been embroiled in controversy since July, when the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) released two videos showing the group’s vice president and medical director, Savita Ginde, apparently negotiate the sale of aborted baby parts.

The Planned Parenthood affiliate also recently settled a civil lawsuit alleging that two of its employees failed to comply with Colorado law by performing an abortion on a 13-year-old girl who was sexually abused. The employees neglected to report the abuse of a minor to authorities or obtain consent from her parents prior to performing the abortion.

Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains is also contesting a 2013 lawsuit by the former executive director of Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment regarding $14 million of taxpayer subsidies that the group received from the state, despite a Colorado constitutional amendment prohibiting the use of tax dollars to fund abortions.

“The CMP videos raise serious questions about PPRM's abortion practices,” said the Colorado Family Action policy director, Sarah Zagorski, who survived an abortion at 26 weeks and who will also attend the hearing.

“It is heartbreaking to see PPRM officials callously treat baby body parts as commodities. Without a doubt, there is enough evidence to investigate, despite both the attorney general and the Colorado Department of Health and Environment's unwillingness to do so,” she told CNA.

The hearing will take place at the Colorado State Capitol building at 9am. Experts testifying include Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel Michael Norton, who is a former attorney general; Alliance Defending Freedom legal counsel Natalie Decker; attorney Barry Arrington; and the Charlotte Lozier Institute vice president and research director, David Prentice.

“Once my mother saw my humanity, she couldn’t allow the abortionist to leave me for dead, even though this is what he pushed for,” added Zagorski.

“As difficult as the CMP videos are to watch, I hope they convince Coloradoans to defund PPRM,” she said. “More importantly, I hope they persuade mothers contemplating an abortion that their innocent child deserves life, instead of gruesomely having its baby parts trafficked for profit.”

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