Congress Inquiry Into Planned Parenthood Widens

Several Planned Parenthood officials and three private bio-medical firms were targeted on Friday by a U.S. congressional panel as lawmakers dig deeper into a controversy swirling around the women’s health organization.

A U.S. House of Representatives committee made public a letter requesting interviews with personnel from the organization who appeared in surreptitiously recorded videos in discussions about providing fetal tissue for research.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans also said they had written to three companies identified as human fetal tissue suppliers to request information and briefings.

Lawmakers on the committee said last month they would investigate after the videos were released by an anti-abortion activist group called the Center for Medical Progress.

The videos purport to show Planned Parenthood officials negotiating prices for aborted fetal tissue. Under federal law, donated human fetal tissue may be used for research, but profiting from its sale is prohibited. Compensation for the tissue can cover only the costs of handling it.