POLITICS

John Boehner Mum On Whether GOP Will Defund Planned Parenthood

House committees will keep reviewing undercover videos for now

WASHINGTON -- House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) brushed aside questions Thursday about Republican plans to defund Planned Parenthood.

House Republicans already launched an investigation into the family planning provider this week after an anti-abortion group released undercover footage showing a doctor discussing the donation of fetal parts after an abortion. Boehner wouldn't say if the furor over the videos means the GOP will go after Planned Parenthood's federal funding, too.

"The Planned Parenthood issue is under review by two of our committees," he told reporters. "Listen, I've seen those two videos. They're gruesome and I think they're awful. … I expect we will have hearings. The more we learn, the more we will educate our decisions in the future."

Democrats are calling for their own investigation into the Center for Medical Progress, the group behind the "sting" videos. Planned Parenthood says the videos show employees discussing the donation of fetal tissue to scientific research, which is legal, not-for-profit and done with the permission of the woman seeking the abortion.

FactCheck.org has already debunked claims by the Center for Medical Progress about the family planning provider selling aborted fetuses for a profit, noting the nonprofit cannot profit from the donation of fetal tissue based on the small reimbursements the doctor was caught discussing.

But anti-abortion lawmakers have seized on the opportunity to go after the group anyway. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), both of whom are 2016 presidential hopefuls, have vowed to strip all federal Title X family planning funds from Planned Parenthood clinics across the country. 

Abortions represent 3 percent of the total services provided by Planned Parenthood -- and no federal funds may be used for abortions. The organization uses the funds to subsidize the costs of birth control and sexually transmitted testing and treatment for low-income women.