10 Lines of Questioning for Cecile Richards

On September 29th, the President of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, came before Congress to testify at a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. DesJarlais had the opportunity to question Richards at one of the most important hearings in Congress this year.

Watch what happened when he was given the opportunity:


Unbelievable. DesJarlais chose not to ask a single question of Planned Parenthood, even in the wake of recent undercover videos that unmasked the horrifying practices of Richards’ organization.

Here are the questions that DesJarlais chose not to ask, and that I would have asked, the head of Planned Parenthood:

​1. Would Planned Parenthood ever discourage a woman from seeking an abortion? What if a woman was explicitly interested in only male children? What if a woman was explicitly interested in only children of a particular race? What if a woman was being paid by a tissue harvesting company? ​

2. Before performing an abortion, what steps does a Planned Parenthood clinic take to ensure the child’s father hasn’t coerced the ​mother into an abortion?

​3. Recent undercover videos unmasked that Planned Parenthood will alter abortion procedures so that the baby’s body parts can be sold for cash. Planned Parenthood officials are shown haggling over price, including a notorious reference to a Lamborghini. Federal law says “It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly acquire, receive, or otherwise transfer any human fetal tissue for valuable consideration if the transfer affects interstate commerce.” How do the activities on these videos not violate this law?

4. Regardless of the law, do you hold yourself responsible for these actions? Does the buck stop with you?

​5. A grand jury report said that inspectors found “blood-splattered floors, and blood-stained chairs” in an abortion clinic in Philadelphia. You opposed the application of typical, widespread regulatory standards for outpatient surgical centers and hospitals. What regulations, if any, are reasonable for abortion providers? Does an abortion qualify as an outpatient procedure? What about an abortion makes it undeserving of routine safety and cleanliness standards?

6. Should abortion be available until the moment of birth? What is the difference between an hour old child and a child an hour from birth?

7. Since 2006, the number of customers that go to Planned Parenthood each year for cancer screenings declined year after year. At the same time, some 13,500 community health centers don’t receive the half billion dollars that go to Planned Parenthood. Why shouldn’t organizations that provide cancer screenings but manage to avoid killing unborn children be the beneficiaries of your taxpayer dollars?

​Are you seriously suggesting that caring for women’s health is impossible without providing abortions? You suggested in your testimony that you do not use Planned Parenthood for your own medical needs. Why not? Are you satisfied with your primary healthcare provider? Does it provide abortions?

8. You believe that abortion is a right. Does a right have to be financed by taxpayer dollars? If so, do you support the federal government subsidizing American citizens’ purchase of firearms? In other words, should the federal government pay for my Glock?

9. You say that taxpayer dollars don’t fund abortions, but your organization performs almost one out of every four abortions in America. But money is fungible, and you receive half a billion dollars from the federal government. How many private donations are then allowed to subsidize abortion as a result of your massive taxpayer subsidy?

​10. Dr. Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, observed, “The most obvious practitioner of racism in the United States today is Planned Parenthood, an organization founded by the eugenicist Margaret Sanger and recently documented as ready to accept money to eliminate black babies.” According to the CDC, African American babies accounted for 37.3% of all abortions in the United States in 2011, yet African Americans make up only some ten percent of the population.
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Do black lives matter in the womb?​

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