Planned Parenthood should be defunded because of political spending, Republicans argue

WASHINGTON (AP) — Some of the Republican allegations against Planned Parenthood at a congressional hearing today have little or nothing to do with the secretly-recorded videos that led lawmakers to investigate the group.

In those videos, Planned Parenthood officials were seen discussing their provision of fetal tissue to medical researchers.

At Tuesday’s hearing, Republicans accused the group of spending millions of dollars on political activities, travel and lavish salaries. The GOP is looking to build a case for terminating the group’s federal funding.

Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz of Utah says the group has given $22 million over the past five years to its political affiliate, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

Responding to the attacks, the group’s president told the panel that taxpayer money is used to provide sexual disease testing, contraceptives and other health care for women. And Cecile Richards said none of that money is used for political activity.

She also said the videos that were released this summer have led to increased threats against clinics.

Several Republican presidential hopefuls have condemned Planned Parenthood for its work providing fetal tissue. And demands from conservatives for an end to the group’s federal funding were part of the GOP unrest that prompted House Speaker John Boehner to announce his resignation last week.

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