On March 2, 2016, the Select Investigative Panel of the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing on Bioethics and Fetal Tissue. Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) stated that the purpose was “to follow the facts to find out ‘what is going on?’” and “to ask ‘what does it mean?’” Six witnesses testified. See: energycommerce.house.gov/hearings-and-votes/hearings/bioethics-and-fetal-tissue.
The House approved the investigative panel in 2015 following the release of several undercover videos revealing Planned Parenthood’s willingness to traffic in fetal organs and other tissue from abortions. The panel was directed to investigate and issue a report regarding: medical procedures, business practices, and other relevant matters involved in fetal tissue procurement; federal funding and support for abortion providers; the practices of providers of second and third trimester abortions, including partial birth abortion and procedures that may lead to a child born alive; care of a child born alive as a result of an attempted abortion; and any changes in law or regulation necessary as a result of any findings. The March 2 hearing was the first held by the panel.
More information on fetal tissue research can be found at: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/stem-cell-research/index.cfm.