WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) led a bipartisan group of 49 of her fellow senators today in a letter to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell following the release of footage by the Center for Medical Progress depicting senior Planned Parenthood Federation of America executives discussing in gruesome detail the organization’s role in the harvesting of the organs of unborn babies. In the letter, the senators draw attention to the legal, ethical, and policy issues raised by the footage and call on HHS Secretary Burwell to cooperate with ongoing and future investigations into these questions. 
The footage raises a number of questions about the practices of the organization, including whether they are in compliance with federal laws regulating both the use of fetal tissue and partial-birth abortions,” the senators wrote. “In addition to questions about Planned Parenthood’s compliance with applicable federal law and medical ethics, we believe the footage prompts important policy questions surrounding the issue of abortions permitted so late in a pregnancy – sometimes even later than 5 months – that an unborn baby’s organs can be identified and harvested.” 
The senators also requested that the Secretary confirm the commencement or immediate initiation of “a thorough internal review of the compliance of the Department and Planned Parenthood – one of the Department’s grantees – with all relevant and applicable federal statutes, regulations, and other requirements.”
Senator Joni Ernst also added in a statement, “This footage is morally reprehensible, vile, and raises a number of questions that taxpayers deserve answers to. Today, my colleagues and I are calling on HHS to cooperate with all current and future investigations into these shocking allegations. As a defender of life, I remain committed to getting these answers because protecting our most vulnerable is an important measure of any society.”
The full text of the senators’ letter can be found here.
The complete list of the 50 senators who signed the letter is as follows:
Senator Lamar Alexander
Senator Kelly Ayotte
Senator John Barrasso
Senator Roy Blunt
Senator John Boozman
Senator Richard Burr
Senator Shelley Moore Capito
Senator Bill Cassidy
Senator Dan Coats
Senator Thad Cochran
Senator Bob Corker
Senator John Cornyn
Senator Tom Cotton
Senator Mike Crapo
Senator Ted Cruz
Senator Steve Daines
Senator Mike Enzi
Senator Joni Ernst
Senator Deb Fischer
Senator Jeff Flake
Senator Cory Gardner
Senator Lindsey Graham
Senator Orrin Hatch
Senator John Hoeven
Senator Jim Inhofe
Senator Johnny Isakson
Senator Ron Johnson
Senator James Lankford
Senator Mike Lee
Senator Joe Manchin
Senator John McCain
Senator Mitch McConnell
Senator Jerry Moran
Senator Rand Paul
Senator David Perdue
Senator Rob Portman
Senator James Risch
Senator Pat Roberts
Senator Mike Rounds
Senator Marco Rubio
Senator Ben Sasse
Senator Tim Scott
Senator Jeff Sessions
Senator Richard Shelby
Senator Dan Sullivan
Senator John Thune
Senator Thom Tillis
Senator Pat Toomey
Senator David Vitter
Senator Roger Wicker