Today, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards testified in front of the House Oversight Committee as part of the entirely ridiculous Congressional investigation launched by Republicans after an anti-choice group released highly-edited gotcha videos purporting to show Planned Parenthood employees doing something wrong, even though those discredited videos showed no illegal or unethical behavior at all.
It is an absurd indignity that Richards would even be dragged through this farce, but here is just a short clip of House Oversight Committee Chair, Republican Utah Representative Jason Chaffetz, questioning Richards in the most aggressively disrespectful manner, to give you some idea of how Richards was treated during her testimony.
Richards: —every year. Thank you.This is not a serious inquiry being done by serious people. It's a witch hunt being carried out by unethical shitlords who don't even have the common decency not to interrupt the answers they're allegedly seeking. Because, of course, they don't want answers. What they want is a spectacle. What they want is to discredit Planned Parenthood. What they want is to limit abortion access. What they want is control over women and our bodies.
Chaffetz: Thank you. I'll now recognize myself for five minutes. Um, Ms. Richards, Planned Parenthood has sent thirty-two plus million dollars in grants overseas. Does any of these funds [sic] go to the Democratic Republic of the Congo?
Richards: Congressman, let me tell you—
Chaffetz: No no no. No. We don't have time for a big narrative.
Richards: I'm not going to give you— You asked me—
Chaffetz: Yes or no.
Richards: You asked me a question. Any of the money that Planned Parenthood raises and is given by foundations and individuals to support family planning services around [I think she meant "outside"] the country is in Africa and in Latin America, and they go to individual organizations. I'm happy to provide you a list of those organizations, but I did not bring them with me today—
Chaffetz: If you could give us a list of those organizations... Does Planned Parenthood have any ownership in foreign—foreign companies?
Richards: I don't believe so. I don't know what you mean by ownership—
Chaffetz: Well, in your 2013 tax return, it lists three point three million dollars marked as, quote, investment, unquote, in Central America and the Caribbean. I'm just asking if that investment was an actual investment.
Richards: We don't own anything in those countries. What our global—
Chaffetz: Okay. We can keep going.
Richards: Well, I—
Chaffetz: I have to keep going. I need—I would appreciate a list—and you've been very cooperative so far—
Richards: We have been extremely cooperative.
Chaffetz: Yeah, and I just cited that. If you can give us a listing, as you said you would, of where those dollars go overseas, we would very much appreciate it. Your—your compensation in 2009 was three hundred and fifty-three thousand dollars. Is that correct?
Richards: I don't have the figures with me, but I—
Chaffetz: It was. Congratulations. Um, in 2013, your compensation went up some two hundred and forty thousand dollars. You—your compensation we're showing at baseline tax returns as five hundred and ninety thousand dollars, correct?
Richards: That's not my annual compensation. I actually—my annual compensation is five hundred and twenty thousand dollars a year. I believe there was a retirement—there was a program that the board, um, a sort of—put together for a three-year—
Richards: I'm happy— Again, I think we've been extremely forthcoming with all of our documents, so—
Chaffetz: Let me go to the next one.
A female representative offscreen: Will the gentleman yield?
Chaffetz: No I won't. Planned Parenthood and its lobbying arm, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, uh—
And that should be manifestly obvious to anyone watching a male congressman assert his control over the female president of an organization that primarily provides healthcare services to women.
This is an exercise in the assertion of patriarchy, being funded by the taxpayers' dime.