A congressional committee kicked off a series of hearings on Planned Parenthood's activities Wednesday without hearing from Planned Parenthood, representatives of which were not invited to testify, The Guardian reports.
The House judiciary panel is examining an anti-abortion group's allegation that Planned Parenthood illegally profits from the sale of fetal tissue; the women's health nonprofit says it only donates such tissue for medical research, in accordance with federal law.
The activist group, the Center for Medical Progress, was also not represented at the hearing, The Washington Post writes. The committee heard from what it described as "experts on the issues surrounding the alleged acts of Planned Parenthood," including a right-to-life activist, a Yale University law professor who has fought bans on so-called partial-birth abortions, and two women who said they survived their birth mothers' abortion attempts.
The hearing comes amid a brewing battle between Republican leaders on Capitol Hill and their most conservative members, who are seeking a showdown with Democrats and President Obama over federal funding for Planned Parenthood, the Post also reports. Wednesday's session focused less on Planned Parenthood's tissue-donation program than on particular abortion techniques and the definition of "baby."