Christian Coalition

On Tuesday night, Senator Joni Ernst, along with several of her colleagues, including Sen. Roy Blunt, Sen. James Lankford, Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Rand Paul, and Sen. Tim Scott, filed the Senate Bill S.1881 defunding Planned Parenthood. 

This legislation follows gruesome footage showcasing Planned Parenthood’s role in the harvesting of the organs of unborn babies.

In addition to defunding Planned Parenthood, this legislation ensures the preservation of Federal funding for women’s health services including relevant diagnostic laboratory and radiology services, well-child care, prenatal and postpartum care, immunization, family planning services including contraception, sexually transmitted disease testing, cervical and breast cancer screenings, and referrals.  Funds no longer available to Planned Parenthood will continue to be offered to other eligible entities to provide such women’s health care services.

This legislation is expected to come before the Senate floor for a vote within a matter of days, as Senate Leader Mitch McConnell has stated that the Senate will vote on this bill before departing for an extended state work period and August recess.

Cosponsors of the bill include Senators John Barrasso (WY), Roy Blunt (MO), John Boozman (AR), Richard Burr (NC) Dan Coats (IN), Tom Cotton (AR) John Cornyn (TX), Ted Cruz (TX), Steve Daines (MT), Mike Enzi (WY), Deb Fischer (NE), James Inhofe (OK), Johnny Isakson (GA), Ron Johnson (WI), James Lankford (OK), John McCain (AZ) Mitch McConnell (KY), Jerry Moran (KS), Rand Paul (KY), David Perdue (GA), Pat Roberts (KS), Ben Sasse (NE), Tim Scott (SC), and John Thune (SD).

Senate Bill S.1881:

  • Prohibits federal funding of Planned Parenthood Federation of America or any of its affiliate organizations.
  • Protects federal funding for health services for women, including diagnostic laboratory and radiology services, well-child care, prenatal and postnatal care, immunizations, cervical and breast cancer screenings and more.
  • Ensures there is no reduction in overall federal funding available to support women’s health.


The text of the Defund Planned Parenthood Act can be seen here.

Christian Coalition of America supports passage of this bill and will be scoring this vote on our Congressional Scorecards.

We ask all of our members and supporters to contact their Senators and encourage them to pledge their support for passage of the Defund Planned Parenthood Act (S.1881) by calling the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 to speak with your Senators’ office or by corresponding with them via their Senate contact information which can be found here.




A technician who said she worked for a company that partnered with Planned Parenthood to harvest fetal tissue said there’s “incentive to try and get the hard stuff ‘cause you’re going to get more money,” in the latest undercover video targeting Planned Parenthood.

“For whatever we could procure, they would get a certain percentage,” said Holly O’Donnell, identified as an ex-procurement technician for StemExpress, a Placerville, Calif., company. “The main nurse was always trying to make sure we got our specimens. No one else really cared, but the main nurse did because she knew that Planned Parenthood was getting compensated.”

GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING: Click to see latest undercover Planned Parenthood video

The new, graphic video from the Center for Medical Progress appears to show technicians using tweezers to pick through aborted fetal tissue for baby parts. After one person in the video picks out a pair of intact kidneys someone off-camera laughs and says, “Five stars!”

O’Donnell said she fainted the first time she was part of this process and was told by someone in the room, “some of us don’t ever get over it.”

O'Donnell said she worked for six months identifying pregnant women at Planned Parenthood who met the standards for fetal tissue orders and then helped to harvest fetal body parts after abortions at Planned Parenthood facilities.

StemExpress “supplies human blood, tissue products, primary cells and other clinical specimens to biomedical researchers around the world,” according to its website.

O’Donnell describes the company a different way.

“StemExpress is a company that hires procurement techs to draw blood and dissect dead fetuses and sell the parts to researchers,” she said. “They’ve partnered with Planned Parenthood and they get part of the money because we pay them to use their facilities. And they get paid from it. They do get some kind of benefit.”

Planned Parenthood has denied selling fetal tissue for a profit, which is against federal law.

“If you can somehow procure a brain or a heart you’re going to get more money than just Chorionic villi or umbilical cord,” O’Donnell said.

The video is the third to be released by the Center for Medical Progress. Like the first two, it contains undercover video of Planned Parenthood officials and associates, but is heavily reliant on an interview with O’Donnell.

Previous videos show Dr. Mary Gatter, a Planned Parenthood medical director in Southern California, meeting with people posing as buyers of fetal specimens. The conversation focuses on how much money the buyers should pay, although Planned Parenthood insists that it only sought to cover its expenses. The videos have brought investigations of Planned Parenthood's policies on aborted fetuses by three Republican-led congressional committees and three states.

Federal law prohibits the commercial sale of fetal tissue, but it allows the not-for-profit donation of tissue if the women who underwent abortions give their consent. Planned Parenthood says the payments discussed in the videos pertain to reimbursement for the costs of procuring the tissue -- which is legal.

Several legislative efforts to defund Planned Parenthood of federal tax dollars are in the works after two undercover videos appear to show doctors affiliated with the group discussing the exchange of organs and other body parts from aborted fetuses. 

In the days after the videos went public, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, also a GOP presidential contender, announced he would move to strip some of the roughly $500 million in taxpayer money given to Planned Parenthood each year. 

"This organization has absolutely zero respect for the sanctity of human life and is an affront to the most basic human dignity enshrined in our founding documents," he said. 

On Sunday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-K.Y., introduced a measure aimed at the same goal. 

Over the last 10 years, Planned Parenthood has gotten more than $4 billion in state and federal government aid. Any bid to defund the organization may face long odds. 

But how much is it costing you?


Here's a sample: Individuals making between $50,000 and $100,000 paid just $15.51 toward Planned Parenthood. However, those making more than that paid considerably more. Individuals making above $250,000 have paid, on average, roughly $420 toward the organization. 

Planned Parenthood, though, is fighting back against efforts to strip federal funding. Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards, in her first live interview regarding the controversy, on Sunday said the organization has broken no laws and slammed the group that produced the videos, the Center for Medical Progress. 

"The folks behind this, in fact, are part of the most militant wing of the anti-abortion movement that has been behind, you know, the bombing of clinics, the murder of doctors in their homes and in their churches," she told ABC's "This Week." "And that's what actually needs to be looked at." 

Federal law prohibits the sale of human organs and commercial trafficking of human fetal remains, but Planned Parenthood maintains it was making donations to researchers and not profiting. 

While some states have launched investigations into Planned Parenthood, in California, Attorney General Kamala Harris has vowed to look into whether CMP broke any laws. 

CMP used actors posing as tissue-procurement buyers and shot video of a lunch meeting with a Planned Parenthood official in which she discussed performing an abortion in such a way as to preserve specific organs. 

During that same meeting, the abortion doctor said the cost of specimens would range from roughly $30 to $100 each. 

Republican Rep. Diane Black of Tennessee, a nurse for more than 40 years and a member of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, said the videos are disturbing. "This is a very indicting case where you sit at a table and negotiate," she said. "If they weren't selling these parts, why would they not meet with someone in an office setting and say, 'Here is what we do.'" 

Black has submitted the Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015. It would place a moratorium on all federal funding for one year while Congress completes its own investigation. 

A second CMP video records another doctor also discussing the transfer of fetal remains. During one part of the recording, as the parties discuss "compensation" for the body parts, she is recorded laughing as she states, "I want a Lamborghini." 

Richards called the stealth recordings "a complete political smear campaign in order to cut off funding for basic health care for women in America at Planned Parenthood." 

She also said doctors were lied to and entrapped. Richards said Planned Parenthood is fighting for women and called the group's treatment programs the "most important" thing. 

Democrats have echoed those comments and seem unlikely to join any effort to defund the group. 

Top House Democrat, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, said Republicans have been "out to get" Planned Parenthood for "as long as" she can remember. Pelosi is also among those advocating for an investigation of CMP. 

"Women's health is what is at stake, and Planned Parenthood is a very important part of promoting women's health in our country," she said. 

2016 Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, has said little about the controversy. After the release of the second video, Clinton said she didn't have all of the facts but that Planned Parenthood had apologized for the insensitivity of its employees in the discussions captured on video. 

Clinton also said she thought it was "unfortunate that Planned Parenthood had been the object of such concerted attacks for so many years and it's really an attack against women's rights to choose." 

With the August congressional recess looming, it's unclear how GOP lawmakers plan to proceed on the measures aimed at stripping Planned Parenthood of funding. Many states also provide funding to the organization, and battles over those state tax dollars have likewise been heated in recent years.

While it’s no longer news, it’s still shockingly unbelievable that President Obama and the P5+1 group (United States, United Kingdom, Russia, China, France and Germany), have agreed to a nuclear deal with Iran; the world’s largest supporter and exporter of terror.  Iran currently has a nuclear program in place and, despite denials from the White House, this new deal has opened a pathway for Iran to enrich weapons-grade uranium and be ready with a nuclear bomb in ten years or less. Furthermore, part of the nuclear deal will lift current economic sanctions resulting in a windfall to Iran in excess of one hundred and fifty billion dollars. 

One can hardly call this a “deal” in that, despite White House rhetoric, a “deal” is defined as an agreement reached by two or more parties for their mutual benefit.  In the case of the Iranian nuclear deal, Iran gets all the tangibles while America, Israel and the rest of the free world get only promises from those known to have lying lips. When a negotiating partner threatens their opponent with death, that’s not diplomacy. That’s intimidation.  Throughout the process as the P5+1 were sitting around the “negotiating” table with Iran, the Iranian people were in the streets declaring and chanting “Death to America” and “Death to Israel.” What part of that did the P5+1 not understand?

Like it or not, the weak leaders of the West concluded a weak deal with Iran. What were Obama, Kerry and the others thinking when deadline after deadline was missed and pushed back?  Couldn’t they see that their lack of strength and their watery actions and convictions conveyed to the world a “please, pretty please” attitude of appeasement toward Iran?  In the eyes of the world, they were not negotiating a deal with Iran but rather begging Iran for a deal, any deal.

In the agreement reached there is no guarantee of anything for any of the players except the Iranians who gained the complete advantage over everyone. Going forward, watching the Middle East will be like watching a chess match with a series of moves unpredictable at present. It would be expected for the other Middle Eastern countries to immediately consider defensive moves in order to keep ahead of the potential weaponization of Iran.  In simple terms, this means an arms race by unstable governments and/or terrorist regimes but it’s more than just a potential for a nuclear arms race; it’s the escalation of production of medium and long range missiles that may or may not accompany possession of a nuclear bomb. Such weapons in the hands of people with a mindset of destruction would not be for defensive purposes but rather offensive thus conferring more instability in the Middle East and beyond.

In such a climate, alliances for protection will be difficult to achieve and the U.S. will find it difficult to protect its allies. This leaves Israel in quite a quandary. How does this a tiny nation defend itself against such potential outside aggression?  Anti-Semitism is on the rise worldwide making it common to hear public rants of “Death to the Jews,” “Death to Israel.” In fact, many Palestinians and others in the Middle East would just assume the annihilation of the Jews once an arms race is underway. 

Furthermore, the nuclear deal with Iran does not help the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. In fact it makes it more difficult. Any and every country needs space or land mass to protect itself. Having defensible borders is nonnegotiable. Indeed, all the land that Israel presently possesses was gained from prior acts of aggression against the tiny Jewish state from which she emerged victorious.

Israel can no longer rely on the United States for support or protection. Ideologies can change as is apparent in the present relationship between the U.S. and Israel. Those who truly embrace freedom and democracy and who understand the very real Islamic goal of world domination are confused about the stance of Obama and the American government. This is true within and outside of the United States of America.

Israel has no choice but to bolster its own defenses, hunker down and resolve not give up land for any reason. The instability in the Middle East is not getting any better and the future is very unpredictable. Iran proved to be very resourceful in building a nuclear infrastructure with limited funding.  If sanctions are lifted, what will Iran do with the more than one hundred and fifty billion dollar windfall?  O“bomb”a’s legacy may prove to be more explosive than he ever imagined.  

Organized religion is losing influence in the United States -- and Christianity is under attack.  

That’s according to the latest Fox News national poll released Tuesday.

By a 53-10 percent margin, voters feel organized religion is losing rather than gaining influence in the country.  About a third says it is staying the same (34 percent).  

In addition, those who see religion as losing influence are four times as likely to say that’s a bad thing as to feel it’s a good thing (73-18 percent).


Meanwhile, 56 percent of voters say Christianity is under attack in the U.S.  Forty-two percent disagree.  Views were about the same ten years ago, as 59 percent said Christianity was under attack in 2005.  

The poll finds that among white evangelical Christians, a large 81-percent majority says Christianity is under attack, and more than two-thirds feel religion is losing influence in the country (67 percent).

The numbers are almost as high among Protestants: 68 percent say Christianity is under attack and 59 percent see religion losing ground.  Among Catholics: 54 percent say Christianity is being attacked and 50 percent say religious influence is waning.  

Overall, nearly a third of voters say they attend religious services at least once a week (31 percent).  Most show up less often: 12 percent attend almost every week, 13 percent once a month, 23 percent seldom and 18 percent never.  

Among weekly attenders, 73 percent believe Christianity is under attack and 59 percent say religion is losing influence.  

Republicans are 45 percentage points more likely than Democrats to feel Christianity is under attack (80 percent vs. 35 percent).  

The Fox News poll is based on landline and cell phone interviews with 1,019 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from July 13-15, 2015. The full poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.

Religious groups that refuse abortion counseling no longer can get grants to help human trafficking victims unless they ensure the counseling is provided by a third party, under new guidelines by the Department of Health and Human Services.

In guidance quietly posted online in June, the agency said groups competing for grants must offer "the full range of legally permissible gynecological and obstetric care," which includes abortion counseling and referrals. If groups don't offer the services, they must propose an alternative approach to remain competitive for a grant.

That has at least one anti-abortion advocate contending the new policy may violate the federal Weldon Amendment, a law saying federal money can't be awarded if it's being used to discriminate against healthcare entities that won't provide or refer women for abortions.

Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life, which stages a big anti-abortion march in Washington every January, called the policy change legally questionable.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Grassley Makes Inquiries to Attorney General, Planned Parenthood After Video Surfaces in Media Reports

Senator Chuck Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is making inquiries to Planned Parenthood and the Justice Department following media reports of a video describing in detail Planned Parenthood’s role in the harvesting of fetal tissue.

The video shows Planned Parenthood’s Senior Director for Medical Services, Deborah Nucatola, describing the organization’s role in the procurement of fetal tissue... (READ MORE)


Republican Conference Chairman McMorris Rodgers statement on Planned Parenthood Video Admissions: “Disturbing” and “Illegal”

Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) released the following statement after video footage surfaced featuring Planned Parenthood’s Senior Director of Medical Services detailing atrocious abortion practices.

“The admissions by Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood’s Senior Director for Medical Services, in the recent undercover video go beyond a debate over pro-life vs. pro-choice. This is a matter of following the law. The practices described are not only disturbing—they’re illegal"... (READ MORE)


Democrats Raise Tough Questions on Iran Nuclear Deal

President Obama “vigorously’” defended his nuclear agreement with Iran this week, the Associated Press reports, but “in Congress, resistance comes not only from Republicans, but also Obama’s own Democratic Party.”  Indeed, numerous Democrats are raising tough questions for the Obama administration on its Iran deal, from lifting the arms embargo to providing a cash infusion that will allow Iran to continue fomenting terrorism in the region.  Here’s a look:

House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD): “Without Verification, This Is a Useless Agreement” “‘Verification is going to be very critical,’ House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer said. ‘Without verification, this is a useless agreement. Without verification that’s meaningful and effective, it’s not an agreement that I can support”... (READ MORE)


From the Office of Speaker Boehner: Sec Clinton’s Special Email Arrangement Was Not ‘Permitted’

Following her CNN interview, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was roundly criticized for failing to tell the truth about her exclusive use of a personal email address and private server for official government business, and her decision to delete tens of thousands of emails.

In addition to her false claim that she was “never” subpoenaed, she also insisted that “Everything that I did was permitted. There was no law, there was no regulation, there was nothing that did not give me the full authority to decide how I was going to communicate.” The Washington Post Fact Checker awarded her three Pinocchios for her dishonesty, and pointed out that “she appears to have not complied with the requirement to turn over her business-related e-mails before she left government service”... (READ MORE)


Senate Majority Leader McConnell Statement on OPM Director Resignation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following statement regarding the resignation of Katherine Archuleta, Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and the need for the Obama administration to ‘articulate a credible plan of action’ to prevent additional breaches of Americans’ personal information:

“The Obama Administration needs to take this opportunity to articulate a credible plan of action, and more thoroughly address the legitimate concerns of the American people, particularly the millions who have been harmed by the lack of competence in confronting a massive cyber-attack"... (READ MORE)


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European Union High Representative Federica Mogherini, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and US Secretary of State John Kerry pose for a group picture at the United Nations building in Vienna Photo: Joe Klammar/AFP


A majority of Americans believe that Iran can not be trusted to abide by a nuclear agreement. There is very good reason for this as Iran has a long history of breaking its international commitments, is the world’s foremost sponsor of terrorism, and has consistently lied about the scope and intent of its nuclear program.

In fact, in the final days of the negotiations that concluded on July 14th with the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iranian leaders gave every indication that they were as committed as ever to the destruction of Israel and of the United States—their negotiating partners. Thousands of Iranians gathered in Tehran that Friday for al-Quds Day chanting “Down with America” and “Death to Israel.” Protestors burned Israeli and American flags, as well as posters depicting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and American President Barack Obama.

 Regime leaders also joined in the festivities, including President Hasan Rouhani and former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei made a statement indicating that the struggle against the U.S. will continue even if a nuclear deal is signed. Ayatollah Ali Jannati told the Fars news agency: “We march not only against Israel….We also march against the arrogant powers,” code words for Europe and the U.S.

 An Iranian tech company used the occasion to launch a game for use on smart phone devices called “Missile Strike,” which awards points to players for firing missiles at Israeli cities and military bases. Just a couple of days earlier Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) put out a statement that the destruction of Israel is the Islamic world’s top priority.

 Trusting Iran

Yet, President Obama persisted to sign an agreement with Iran, admitting to the Atlantic’s reporter Jeffrey Goldberg, “Look, 20 years from now…. If Iran has a nuclear weapon, it’s my name on this.” President Obama trusted the Iranian regime enough to not only sign an agreement with them, but to place his reputation on the line for decades to come.

 It is truly baffling to think Obama has that much faith in an agreement that is as weak as this one, and that is signed by a notoriously deceptive regime. When the negotiations began the goal was to persuade Iran’s rulers to dismantle their nuclear program. Iran’s skilled negotiators turned the tables and walked away with $100 billion in sanctions relief, the ability to hide much of their nuclear activities, permission to continue research and development on advanced centrifuges, no sites shut down, no centrifuges destroyed, and billions of Iran’s blocked revenues in foreign banks unfrozen. Iran is claiming it achieved all it wanted.

 The Iranian negotiators, seen elated and gleeful in Venice, surely laughed all the way back to Tehran. Their success was acknowledged by Iranian President Rouhani when he said that “the deal is a legal, technical and political victory for Iran.”

 Why would the world’s superpower with vastly greater economic and military power than Iran, in partnership with five other strong countries, make this type of one-sided agreement? The Obama administration not only made concession after concession, but proved themselves dishonest by attempting to mislead the American people with a Framework Agreement factsheet that was later proven inaccurate.

 Forcing the agreement on the American people

President Obama is now insisting that he will veto any legislation that blocks the Iran deal. This means Congress will need a veto-proof majority vote, which looks impossible in the House and very difficult in the Senate. 

 Reports now indicate that the Administration has plans to force the JCPOA on the American people by going through the UN Security Council. The US Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, has already circulated a draft resolution to the 15-member UN Security Council that if adopted would be legally binding on Congress and on the next president. 

 The draft resolution is said to contain provisions that go beyond the actual JCPOA signed with Iran. For example, it lifts an embargo on conventional weaponry in five years and eases restrictions on the development and import of ballistic missile technology in eight years. The UNSC vote may take place as early as Monday.

 While the Obama Administration is touting the JCPOA as historic and momentous, it is actually disastrous. They claim it will prevent war, but the reality is it will inevitably lead to military, possibly nuclear, conflict.

Outcome one: an emboldened Iranian regime

Between the $100-150 billion income from sanctions relief, and the hundreds of billions of dollars of frozen Iranian assets that will be released, the Iranian regime will be strengthened, the ayatollah’s rule will be consolidated, and no opposition will be able to topple them. So, we can forget any hope of a change in Iranian leadership, and a more peaceful government before the JCPOA expires.

Outcome two: an expanded Iranian military

In this year’s budget, President Rouhani’s administration had already increased Iran’s defense budget by 32.5%. With the additional cash flow they will now be able to meet that budget and expand their military strength, exerting a much greater influence in the region.

Outcome three: increased funding of terrorist groups

After a four month halt in Iranian funding to Hamas and Islamic Jihad because of budgetary concerns, the money is once again flowing freely to these terrorist groups now that the successful negotiations have been concluded. Hamas has declared that Iranian assistance is the key to the destruction of Israel.

Outcome four: nuclear arms race in the Middle East

Sunni Arab leaders are complaining that they have been betrayed by this agreement with Iran. They fear growing Iranian Shi’ite influence throughout the Middle East and are committed to pursuing their own nuclear weapons, which will severely destabilize the region and increase the likelihood of nuclear conflict.

Outcome five: a nuclear Iran

Iran will produce nuclear weapons, either legally after the expiration of the agreement, or illegally in secret defiance of it. The second option is likely as the JCPOA does not include a strong mechanism of verification, such as “anytime,” “anywhere” short-notice inspections, to ensure that they are not in fact producing nuclear weapons.

Outcome six: nuclear terrorism

Imagine for one moment a world in which Iranian-sponsored terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas possess nuclear weapons. They could detonate a few dirty bombs in major cities and bring the world to its knees. Terror and absolute chaos would rule the day as never seen before.

The negotiations that were intended to dismantle a nuclear program the Iranians denied they had, have in fact legitimized their program and allowed for their acceptance as a nuclear power in ten years.

To believe that this is a good deal, you must trust Iran. The American people do not. Over the next 60 days Congress will be reviewing the JCPOA and it is critical that they hear from you to reject this bad deal. Sign the petition calling for a deal that fully dismantles Iran’s nuclear program.

Susan M. Michael is the US Director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem



Planned Parenthood’s president apologized Thursday for comments made by the group’s medical research director in a secretly recorded conversation about collecting fetal body parts, as outrage over the graphic video mounted on Capitol Hill where lawmakers are launching several investigations.  

Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, defended the organization’s practices and maintained the group does not illegally sell fetal tissue. But, in a video statement, she acknowledged one of their staff members spoke in a way that does not “reflect” the “compassionate care that we provide.”  

“This is unacceptable, and I personally apologize for the staff member's tone and statements,” Richards said.  

Richards does not directly name Deborah Nucatola, the group official in the video. The video was secretly recorded last year and released to the press this week by the pro-life group, Center for Medical Progress.  

The video shows Nucatola at a lunch with two anti-abortion activists posing at representatives of a biotech firm apparently interested in talking about fetal tissue donations. It shows her munching on what looks like salad and sipping on red wine while discussing fetal lungs and “lower extremities” in hot demand.  

She says in the video: "We've been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I'm not gonna crush that part, I'm gonna basically crush below, I'm gonna crush above, and I'm gonna see if I can get it all intact."  

House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday called the video “disgusting.”  

Unclear is whether any legal lines were crossed – something lawmakers are sure to probe in several concurrent congressional investigations underway.  

While some critics accused Planned Parenthood of selling aborted fetus parts, which would be illegal under federal law, the group says it only donates fetal tissue to researchers, for no profit.  

But there may be other legal issues at play.  

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, sent a letter Wednesday to Richards noting federal law prohibits the “alteration of abortion methods and procedures solely in order to obtain fetal tissue.”  

Title IV of the Public Health Service Act says abortion providers cannot alter the “timing, method, or procedures” used to terminate a pregnancy solely for the purpose of obtaining tissue.  

Grassley said his committee is launching an inquiry into the matter, but also fired off a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch raising these issues.  

The videotaped discussion, he wrote, “raises questions about whether the actions of abortion providers, and in particular those employed by Planned Parenthood and its affiliates, are consistent with federal law.” He also told Lynch the video raises questions about whether they violated the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.  

“I respectfully request that you provide the Committee with a description of any and all actions taken by the Department to ensure compliance with this statute,” he wrote. The Justice Department confirmed to that it had received the letter but had no further comment.  

In his letter to Richards, Grassley demanded all records relating to Planned Parenthood’s provision of fetal tissue and all records of the organization’s facilitation or coordination of organ donation via any of its affiliates. This includes procedures and the amount of money generated by the donation of fetal tissue.  

Stem cell research using fetal tissue is not illegal, and it has been used in research for decades as long as the mother gives her informed consent about the use of the donated tissue and donating physicians sign a statement promising to adhere to specific guidelines. It is illegal, however, for abortion providers to generate revenue in return for human fetal tissue donations.  

In a statement by the group Wednesday, Planned Parenthood insisted the video had been heavily edited and Nucatola’s statements were taken out of context. Specifically, the group said Nucatola only discussed money the group gets as reimbursement for transporting the fetal tissue, which is allowed under the law.  

“I want to be really clear: The allegation that Planned Parenthood profits in any way from tissue donation is not true. Our donation programs – like any other high-quality health care providers – follow all laws and ethical guidelines,” Richards said, while reiterating that it is always the woman’s decision to donate. She also took aim at the group that filmed and distributed the now viral video:  

“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. Their mission is to ban abortion completely and cut women off from care at Planned Parenthood and other health centers.”  

At the state level, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, also a GOP presidential candidate, announced an investigation into the group while calling for a suspension of its license in the near-term. Meanwhile, Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has directed the state’s Health and Human Services Commission to conduct an immediate investigation, in addition to one already ordered by the state’s attorney general’s office.  

On Capitol Hill, Boehner endorsed the committee investigations and hearings. “And once they have them, we'll decide what's the proper course of action,” he said, adding he might “vomit” trying to talk about the video in detail.