WASHINGTON —— Democrats have rallied to defend Planned Parenthood after of the recent release of two graphic undercover videos by an anti-abortion group, but the women’s health care provider is feeling plenty of heat on Capitol Hill.

WASHINGTON —— Democrats have rallied to defend Planned Parenthood after of the recent release of two graphic undercover videos by an anti-abortion group, but the women’s health care provider is feeling plenty of heat on Capitol Hill.


On Thursday, Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., introduced the Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015, which would place a moratorium on federal funding for Planned Parenthood while it is under investigation. More than House 100 members have joined her as co-sponsors on the bill.


The day before, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., pulled a bill from the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee that would have provided for fertility treatments and counseling for female veterans after an amendment related to Planned Parenthood was attached by Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C.


Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, tried a similar tactic when he attached an amendment to the Senate’s long-term highway projects bill that targeted Planned Parenthood. The move was eventually unsuccessful as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., allowed only two amendments to the must-pass bill — legislation to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank and another symbolic repeal of the Affordable Care Act.


Cruz said on Thursday, after he had introduced his own doomed-to-defeat amendment, that "at the very minimum Congress should impose a moratorium on Planned Parenthood taxpayer funding while they are under investigation for being in effect, a criminal enterprise."


Anti-abortion groups have been energized by the release of two videos recorded by the so-called Center for Medical Progress that show Planned Parenthood executives discussing fetal tissue donation and abortion procedures.


CMP claims the videos show negotiations over the sale of fetal organs, which spurred Republican lawmakers to launch two congressional committee investigations.


Planned Parenthood has defended its tissue donation, insisting that its complies with all federal regulations and that clinics do not profit from the sale of fetal tissue to medical research organizations.


Democrats are rallying around Planned Parenthood, asking the Justice Department to investigate CMP’s methods in producing the videos and its validity as an organization.


Republican members of the House and Senate, in turn, have called for the Justice Department to investigate Planned Parenthood. Attorney General Loretta Lynch confirmed this week her office is reviewing the videos.


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