A special panel of members from the House of Representatives has recommended that Congress defund the abortion provider Planned Parenthood in a 471-page report released on Tuesday.
The majority Republican panel, called the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives, was assembled after a series of undercover videos was released in 2015 suggesting that Planned Parenthood was involved in selling aborted fetal body parts.
The report states that some companies have profited from the illegal sale of fetal tissue, such as Planned Parenthood of Gulf Coast and StemExpress, and made criminal referrals.
Along with criminal referrals, the panel made several recommendations, including defunding Planned Parenthood, “and ensuring that grants no longer available to Planned Parenthood are awarded to healthcare providers that provide comprehensive preventative healthcare for their patients and do not perform abortions (that are not covered by Medicaid under the Hyde Amendment).”
Other recommendations in the report included banning federal funding towards research that use fetal tissue, and passing a bill to protect unborn children from 20 weeks and older from being aborted.
“It is my hope that our recommendations will result in some necessary changes within both the abortion and fetal tissue procurement industries. Our hope is that these changes will both protect women and their unborn children, as well as the integrity of scientific research,” said Marsha Blackburn, chairman of the House of Representatives Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives.
Though Congress had banned the provision of federal funding towards abortions in 1976, some abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood are able to receive federal aid through Medicaid reimbursements. In the fiscal year 2014 to 2015, Planned Parenthood received over $553 million in federal funding.