GOP Chair Defends Using Chart From Anti-Abortion Group At Hearing (VIDEO)

October 1, 2015 8:20 a.m.

CNN host Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday quizzed House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) on the lengthy Planned Parenthood hearing he conducted on Wednesday.

Blitzer first asked Chaffetz about a chart from anti-abortion group Americans United For Life that the congressman used during the hearing. The chart reflects the number of abortions and cancer screenings provided by Planned Parenthood between 2006 and 2013. But the lines on the chart make it seem like the organization performs more abortions than cancer screening if one cannot see the numbers.

Chaffetz said he did not believe the chart was misleading.

“I stand by the numbers. I can understand where people would say the arrows went different directions, but the numbers are accurate. And that’s what we were trying to portray,” he told Blitzer.

The CNN host also asked why Chaffetz did not ask the anti-abortion group that released a series of sting videos targeting Planned Parenthood to testify at the hearing. The congressman said he did not want to interview the group until he had seen all of the footage they used for the videos.

When Blitzer asked why Chaffetz had Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards testify before the committee could review the videos, Chaffetz said, “Because it wasn’t a hearing about the videos. The hearing was about the funding of Planned Parenthood.”

Later, Blitzer said that about 75 percent of federal funding for Planned Parenthood is Medicaid reimbursements, prompting Chaffetz to tear into Planned Parenthood and the organization’s expenditures.

“You make it sound so sweet, but there are a lot of other things that they are doing with those: shared employees, shared assets, shared email lists that are engaged in these political activities,” he said. “They’re so flush with cash, they spent tens of millions of dollars over the course of years sending it overseas. When they’re buying first class air travel and chartering aircraft … it doesn’t really sound like all that money’s really going to help that poor young woman who’s looking for a little health care.”

Chaffetz explained that he wants the federal government to spend more money on cancer screenings, mentioning that his mother died of breast cancer. He then slammed Democrats who criticize his stance on Planned Parenthood.

“So don’t tell me that I don’t care about this when I lost my mother to this, when my dad died from cancer, when my wife works on this. There is a better way to do this… I am tired of getting lectures from these Democrats that try to say we don’t care about women. That is just absolutely offensive.”

Watch Blitzer’s interview with Chaffetz via CNN:

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