Republican presidential candidate and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz argued on Tuesday that the recent series of undercover videos produced by the Center for Medical Progress explicitly show Planned Parenthood officials committing multiple federal felonies, one of which carries a 10-year jail sentence.
During a conference call that over 100,000 Christian pastors were invited to participate in, organized by the American Family Association's American Renewal Project, Cruz explained that the barbarity displayed in CMP's videos have the power to change pro-choice minds about whether or not the government should be funding Planned Parenthood.
As the eight released videos have purportedly shown Planned Parenthood officials and representatives of fetal tissue procurement companies that partner with Planned Parenthood admitting various details about aborted baby parts procurement practices that could be in defiance of federal law, Cruz contended that the videos should be enough to warrant opening a U.S. Justice Department investigation into Planned Parenthood's practices.
"The videos not only show the face of evil, they also appear to demonstrate an ongoing pattern of criminal conduct," Cruz said. "There are multiple federal laws that appear to be broken on these videos."
As it is illegal for anyone to sell aborted fetal tissue for a profit, the first CMP video shows Dr. Deborah Nucatola, the senior director of medical services at Planned Parenthood, discussing how clinics try to do better that breaking even off the sale of aborted fetal tissue.
The latest video released Tuesday purports to show Cate Dyer, the CEO of former Planned Parenthood partner StemExpress, discussing how clinics have no trouble conducting "profitable" fetal tissue transactions.
"It is a federal crime, a felony with up to 10 years jail time, for anyone to sell body parts of unborn children for a profit," Cruz, a former associate deputy attorney general at the U.S. Department of Justice, asserted.
As the videos have also discussed ways in which the abortion doctors can conduct abortions in order to preserve vital organs like hearts and livers for research, Cruz also explained that adapting the approved abortion procedure in order to harvest organs is also illegal.
The sixth CMP video, which was released in mid-August, shows one former StemExpress fetal tissue procurement tech explaining how some of her colleagues have harvested and sold fetal tissue procured at a Planned Parenthood clinic in California without getting the approval or even telling the mother.
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"Moreover, it is also a federal crime to harvest the organs of an aborted child without the mother's informed consent," Cruz added. "On each of these videos, it appears that Planned Parenthood officials are committing multiple felonies, one after the other, after the other."
As President Barack Obama's Department of Justice has not opened an investigation into the charges made against Planned Parenthood in the videos, Cruz continued by saying that any impartial Justice Department would investigate the crimes that are shown in the Planned Parenthood videos.
"Now if, we had today a Department of Justice with integrity, if we had a Department of Justice that was not simply partisan and lawless, than any fair and partial Department of Justice, on the basis of these videos, would open an investigation into Planned Parenthood, and would prosecute any and all criminal violations by those organizations," Cruz, stated.
"It is my hope, that the next president will ensure that we have a Department of Justice with integrity that will open an investigation into Planned Parenthood and prosecute any and all criminal violation," Cruz continued. "Criminal justice should be blind to party or ideology. It should be driven by fidelity only to the laws and the Constitution of the United States."
But as Planned Parenthood continues to receive over $500 million in federal funds each year, Cruz said that the nation's largest abortion provider should be cut off from all federal funds.
Although a vote earlier this month to defund Planned Parenthood did not receive enough votes in the Senate, Cruz promised that legislation to defund Planned Parenthood would be voted on again this fall, whether it is a stand alone bill or a rider to the Continuing Resolution.
Cruz challenged pastors on the call to get involved by preaching about the immorality of Planned Parenthood's practices, praying and asking their congregants to urge their congress members to vote in favor of defunding Planned Parenthood.
"At a very minimum, we should not be providing your tax dollars and my tax dollars to fund a nationwide industry that is taken the lives of unborn children across this country, harvesting their organs and selling them for profit," Cruz said. "Preaching from the pulpit biblical values on life and comparing those values and the teachings of Jesus to this nationwide business that is trafficking the body parts of unborn children is a message that needs to be heard across the country."