Late Wednesday, August 5, 2015, Senator Mark Kirk issued a press release detailing a new bill he has filed in the U.S. Senate. This bill calls upon the Department of Justice to investigate Planned Parenthood and shows support for defunding certain Planned Parenthood affiliates that are found guilty of illegal fetal body part harvesting.
Read Senator Kirk’s full statement:
“WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) this week introduced legislation to investigate Planned Parenthood and its affiliates following the release of several videos regarding the sale of fetal tissue. The bill would defund any center involved in the illegal sale of tissue for compensation.
The bill, S.1917, would require the Department of Justice to investigate whether the Planned Parenthood Federation of America or any of its affiliates or subsidiaries have engaged in any illegal activity pertaining to fetal tissue. The bill would prohibit federal funding for any Planned Parenthood affiliate found to have illegally received compensation for procuring or facilitating the donation of fetal tissue.
Following the release of videos showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing the organization’s practices regarding fetal tissue, Senator Kirk called for a full investigation into the centers in question. Planned Parenthood of Illinois does not participate in any fetal tissue donation programs.
The Collins-Kirk-Murkowski bill would ensure the millions of women in Illinois who use Planned Parenthood for basic health care services such as family planning and cancer screening do not lose their health care because of the actions of unlawful actions of affiliates. It would also provide Congress with information regarding Planned Parenthood’s practices and whether any affiliates violated federal law or medical ethics.”
Illinois Right to Life executive director, Emily Zender, released the following statement on this new bill:
“While we applauded Senator Kirk for calling on the Department of Justice to investigate Planned Parenthood, we are alarmed at how he baulked last week in voting to defund Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Senator Kirk’s bill that calls for the defunding of affiliates is an attempt to place a bandaid over a massive wound by defunding only the affiliates and not the whole organization. The videos released by the Center for Medical Progress showed morally repulsive and potentially illegal behavior of Planned Parenthood top executives – not just affiliates – dismembering, dissecting, and disseminating unborn children. Finally we gravely question Senator Kirk’s statement that Planned Parenthood of Illinois is not participating in fetal body part harvesting. No Planned Parenthood in Illinois has a licensed from the state nor has received a health and safety inspection since 1999. With no government oversight, how does Senator Kirk know Planned Parenthood of Illinois’ involvement?”
We also question how Senator Kirk plans on enforcing the proposed new law that these violating affiliates cannot receive taxpayer money. What oversight is going to be put in place to prove taxpayer money is not going to certain Planned Parenthood affiliates? Senator Kirk’s bill is a day late and a many dollars short. Not to mention is stinks of political games.
Illinois Review has more of the story here with comments from pro-life leaders from around the state.
The full text of the bill has not been released. We look forward to reading it in detail.