Rep. Cliff Stearns calls for hearings after Planned Parenthood abortion death
The death of 24-year-old Tonya Reaves of hemorrhaging following an abortion performed at a Chicago Planned Parenthood clinic last Friday has reinvigorated calls more congressional oversight of the abortion provider.
“I would like to put them under oath,” Florida Republican Rep. Cliff Stearns told Fox News Tuesday. “I would like to find out how they spend our half a billion dollars, and I would also like to explore some of the safety aspects, particularly in light of this death, of this tragedy.”
Stearns launched a probe of Planned Parenthood earlier this year.
The pro-life Susan B. Anthony List also called for further investigations into the group following Reaves’ death.
“Congress has an obligation to exercise clear and regular oversight of businesses like Planned Parenthood that receive hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer funding and have such dramatic impact on the lives of women and unborn children,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser.
“We must not allow Tonya Reaves to have died in vain, but rather heed this warning and call on Congress to exercise its full capacity to investigate Planned Parenthood,” she added. “As the nation’s largest abortion provider, in 2010 alone Planned Parenthood ended the lives of 324,008 unborn children and ill-served their mothers.”
Chicago’s Cook County medical examiner’s office ruled Reaves’ death an accident, the Chicago Tribune reported, and Planned Parenthood of Illinois President and CEO Carole Brite offered condolences Sunday.
“While legal abortion services in the United States have a very high safety record, a tragedy such as this is devastating to loved ones and we offer our deepest sympathies,” Brite said. “Planned Parenthood of Illinois cares deeply about the health and safety of each and every patient.”
Public funding for Planned Parenthood has been a strikingly polarized issue in recent years and an election year issue this cycle.
At a campaign stop in Oregon on Tuesday night, President Barack Obama put a personal face on his support for Planned Parenthood.
“Mr. Romney wants to get rid of funding for Planned Parenthood,” he said. “I think that is a bad idea. I’ve got two daughters. I want them to control their own health care choices. We’re not going backwards, we’re going forwards.”
Follow Caroline on Twitter