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Murray as GOP Doubles Down on Partisan, Wasteful Planned Parenthood Investigations: Let’s Focus on Real Challenges

As Senate Judiciary Chairman holds up key HHS nominee over Planned Parenthood attacks, Murray urges GOP to stop playing politics with women’s health


(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, issued the following statement on the decision by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) to block the nomination of Mary Wakefield as Deputy Secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) with the goal of advancing the GOP’s discredited efforts to undermine Planned Parenthood.


It is deeply disappointing to see Republicans disregarding the evidence, doubling down on their efforts to undermine Planned Parenthood, and once again, using women’s access to health care as a political football. Twelve state investigations have cleared Planned Parenthood of wrongdoing, and holding up a nominee to a key public health post won’t change the facts.


“While some of my Republican colleagues may want to head straight into silly season, families and communities rightly expect us to be working together on the real challenges they face every day. I hope that instead of wasting time and taxpayer dollars tilting at Tea Party windmills and trying to undermine women’s access to health care, my Republican colleagues will reconsider and join us in doing the real work we’re here to do.” 


Since July 15, 2015, when the Center for Medical Progress first released deceptive, edited videos designed to discredit Planned Parenthood, Congressional Republicans have launched five separate investigations into Planned Parenthood, four in the House and one in the Senate. The House has voted five times and the Senate three times to defund Planned Parenthood, and House Republicans held a five-hour hearing with Planned Parenthood’s CEO, Cecile Richards.


The inappropriately political nature of Congressional Republican attacks on Planned Parenthood is especially stark in light of overwhelming evidence clearing Planned Parenthood of wrongdoing. Twelve states—Kansas, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Indiana, Nevada, Washington, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri and South Dakota—have concluded independent state investigations and cleared Planned Parenthood of wrongdoing. An additional eight states—California, Iowa, Delaware, Idaho, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Virginia, and Colorado—have declined to investigate, citing a lack of evidence of wrongdoing in the first place.