Sen. James Lankford was on the verge of tears Thursday as he addressed his colleagues about Planned Parenthood’s controversial abortion methods exposed in an undercover video.
“It seems the ultimate irony to me that we spend time talking about humane treatment of animals being put down, like in horse slaughter, and we completely miss children being ripped apart in the womb and their body parts being sold,” Lankford said in a Senate floor speech.
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The Oklahoma Republican delivered the emotional nine-minute speech days after a pro-life group released a video of a senior Planned Parenthood official who spoke about preserving organs from unborn children for medical research.
“It doesn’t bring me comfort to know that one child is torn apart so maybe they can do research on the child’s organs so at some future moment [they can] help a different child,” Lankford said.
To amplify his point, Lankford noted he attended a Senate committee hearing beforehand about the humane treatment of orca whales.
“But in the middle of all that conversation happening today, there were children still being aborted with an instrument reaching into a mother, tearing apart a child but carefully protecting certain organs because those organs would be valuable to sell,” Lankford said.
The pro-life group Center for Medical Progress covertly recorded the video of Planned Parenthood’s senior director of medical services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola.
“We know the real agenda of organizations behind videos like this and they have never been concerned with protecting the health and safety of women,” said Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “Their mission is to ban abortion completely and cut women off from care at Planned Parenthood and other health centers. And we will never let that happen.”
Richards apologized for the “tone and statements” of the senior staff member in the video. She also denied that Planned Parenthood profits from tissue donations.
Since the video’s release, the House Republicans have called for investigations from the Judiciary Committee and Energy and Commerce Committee.
In addition, Republican governors in Louisiana, Texas, Georgia and Indiana have all ordered state-level investigations.