House Democrats—there are 16 of them on the committee, compared to 23 Republicans—responded sharply to the claims being made by the witnesses, as well as the entire fact of the hearing itself.


“I’m still not entirely sure what this hearing is about,” said Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, dryly. He pressed Bopp on whether he’d been told not to discuss the allegations of criminal activity against the Center for Medical Progress, who are accused of a variety of legal infractions in how they collected their undercover footage, as well as numerous IRS violations.

“That’s not what this hearing is about,” Bopp responded, a little peevishly.

Planned Parenthood responded to not being invited to their own hanging in two ways: they released a report detailing the years of failed smear attempts against the non-profit, dating back to 2000, the last time they were falsely accused of “selling baby parts” or fetal tissue. And Dawn Laguens, the vice president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, released a statement politely calling the witnesses “extremists” and the House Judiciary members a bunch of frothing time-wasters with a vendetta and evidently, no more pressing business to attend to. From the statement:

“This hearing was political theater at its very worst. From the provocative title to the slate of life-long anti-abortion activists invited to testify, it’s clear this hearing was not about Planned Parenthood —- it was a chance for anti-abortion extremists and members of Congress to promote their political agenda of banning abortion in this country.

“Millions of people across the country depend on Planned Parenthood for basic, reproductive health care. More than half of Planned Parenthood’s health centers are in rural or medically underserved areas, meaning that quite literally, without us, many of our patients would have nowhere else to go. These attacks against Planned Parenthood are fraudulent, have been widely discredited, and are intended to deceive the public in order to further an anti-abortion agenda. The public overwhelmingly rejects these baseless attacks and overwhelmingly supports federal funding for Planned Parenthood’s preventive services. This is not what people want to see Congress spending its time doing.”


Supporters for Planned Parenthood also appeared at the hearing, wearing bright pink t-shirts:


You can watch the last moments of the hearing live below:

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Gianna Jessen testifies at today’s hearing. Image via AP.