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Republican Lawmaker Under Fire From Pro-Life Group for Voting to End Panel Investigating Fetal Tissue Sales

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A House Republican is under fire from a pro-life group for voting to end the panel investigating fetal tissue sales.

Tuesday, during the House Appropriations Committee debate on funding legislation, Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) submitted an amendment to disband the Select Panel on Infant Lives. The amendment was defeated, in spite of the efforts of Florida Rep. David Jolly, the lone Republican to vote in favor of the amendment.

The select panel was formed in response to allegations that Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, is trafficking aborted fetal body parts. Profiting from the sale of human body parts — including those of the unborn — is illegal in the United States.

The allegations were raised by undercover videos released by the Center for Medical Progress in which Planned Parenthood executives appear to negotiate the price of aborted fetal body parts “per specimen.”

Planned Parenthood has denied any illegal conduct.

Jolly is in the midst of a bid for the Senate seat soon to be vacated by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List, slammed Jolly’s vote in a statement, arguing that with his vote to end the panel, he “disqualified himself from the Florida Senate Republican primary.”

“Planned Parenthood has been caught on tape discussing the brutal harvest and sale of baby body parts,” Dannenfelser said. “How can anyone in good conscience stop the investigation of these horrors? Does it matter if there is profit or illegal abortion methods involved in pursuit of thymus, heart, brain, liver of these children? Of course it does. The question is why would Rep. Jolly buy into Planned Parenthood’s talking points to halt the inquiry?”

“He has betrayed the pro-life movement and does not deserve the support of conscientious Floridians,” Dannenfelser added.

Jolly took to Facebook to defend his vote.

Jolly wrote that it is “appropriate to investigate the allegations into whether fetal tissue was being harvested for profit,” but “we already have had three panels look into the matter and we don’t need a fourth.”

“We’re either a party of less government or not,” Jolly wrote. “As somebody who believes that life begins at conception, I believe we can ably protect the lives of the unborn without spending millions of dollars of taxpayer money on one more congressional committee.”

Follow Kate Scanlon (@kgscanlon) on Twitter

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