Undercover videos taken by pro-life activists in 2015 showed Planned Parenthood officials haggling with a biomedical tissue procurement firm over the price of aborted baby body parts.
The ensuing uproar made even Hillary Clinton label them "disturbing." Planned Parenthood employees laughed and sipped wine as they callously discussed their appalling trade, and even joked about using the money to buy a sports car.
Congressional Republicans convened a special investigation and their final report, released last week, ran to 471 disturbing pages.
It includes evidence that Planned Parenthood illegally profited from trading in tissue from aborted fetuses, which ended up in the hands of biomedical researchers.
It also found that Planned Parenthood abortionists broke the law by tailoring the type of abortion they performed to the needs of researchers, even when it put the fetuses at higher risk of being born alive. The investigators further found that several affiliates took money for services they did not undertake.
The report made 15 criminal referrals for further investigation. They include five Planned Parenthood facilities, three procurement companies, and abortion clinics in four states.
Republicans recommended a ban on federal funding of research using tissue obtained through most abortions. They recommend that Congress direct the National Institutes of Health to write new guidelines for the use of fetal tissue, including a federal ban on profiting from its sale. Republicans are also repeating their demand that Planned Parenthood receive no more taxpayer money.
This really riles congressional Democrats, who claim, predictably, that investigators employed "McCarthy-era tactics" in a conspiracy to strip Planned Parenthood of funding.
It's no secret that Republicans want to end funding for Planned Parenthood. Whenever the industrial abortionist is embroiled in a scandal, which is often, reactions fall along partisan lines. But that doesn't undermine the investigation or its findings.
Skirmishes over Planned Parenthood are proxy battles for the broader debate over abortion. But whatever one's views about that fundamental question for any civilized society, there is general agreement that the public shouldn't be forced to fund it, especially not to the tune of more than half a billion dollars a year and through an organization as disreputable as Planned Parenthood.
House Speaker Paul Ryan said last week that he will include defunding of Planned Parenthood in a bill repealing Obamacare. Republicans will at last have the chance to take a step they have wanted to take for decades.
They should take it boldly and without hesitation. It is a step toward a more decent society.