Hillary Clinton Backer Rep. Jan Schakowsky Leads Charge Against Group Behind Planned Parenthood Videos

Jan Schakowsky / Wikimedia Commons
July 22, 2015

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D., Ill.), who has endorsed Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for president, is leading a group of House Democrats who accuse the Center for Medical Progress of possibly violating federal and state law when secretly recording videos of Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of aborted baby parts. 

According to the Hill, Schakowsky authored a letter with three of her colleagues to the Department of Justice on Wednesday, alerting Attorney General Loretta Lynch of the "elaborate scheme" by the Center for Medical Progress that they estimate could be illegal. 

"This elaborate scheme raises serious questions about whether any federal or state laws were violated in securing the LLC or the personal identification that were part of its execution," the Democratic lawmakers wrote. 

Schakowsky and her fellow representatives also speculated about a "possible coordination between the Center for Medical Progress and members of Congress who knew about the first video weeks in advance of its release."

The note was signed by Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D., Calif.), Jerry Nadler (D., N.Y.), and Yvette Clarke (D., N.Y.).

The California-based non-profit Center for Medical Progress created a fake business to gain access to Planned Parenthood and meet with officials, and individuals working for the group posed as buyers interested in purchasing fetal body parts from the organization and filmed conversations with officials about the topic.

After the first video captured  Dr. Deborah Nucatola, senior director of medical services at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, touting the sale of heart, liver and other aborted baby body parts, House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) demanded hearings be held on the "gruesome" abortion practices. 

Several Republican lawmakers and presidential candidates have called for the federal government to defund Planned Parenthood, which has received $27.8 million in taxpayer money just this year.

Hours after a second video of a Planned Parenthood official discussing the sale of aborted baby parts surfaced Tuesday, Rep. Diane Black (R., Tenn.) introduced the Defund Planned Parenthood Act, which would strip the organization of taxpayer dollars. 

GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina slammed Hillary Clinton and other Democrats for their "absolute deafening silence" in the wake of the second video. 

"Democrats have always fought for a policy that says it is not a life until it leaves the hospital. Hillary Clinton has fought to preserve that policy," Fiorina said in a video message alongside pro-life leaders Tuesday. 

Clinton and her fellow Democratic presidential candidates have remained silent on the controversy, save Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.).

Hillary Clinton has received more campaign cash from Planned Parenthood—almost $10,000 from nine different employees—than all of her liberal rivals.

The executive director of the Center for Medical Progress David Daleiden dismissed the "attack" by Schakowsky and her fellow Democrats on the organization’s investigation of Planned Parenthood’s abortion practices. 

"They will attack me and my organization all day long, but that does not change the facts about what our investigation has uncovered and what the American people now know — that Planned Parenthood is engaged in an enterprise-wide operation that traffics and sells baby body parts," Daleiden said in a statement.