Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) challenged fellow conservatives to vote against “big abortion” and trafficking in “baby body parts” at Friday’s faith-based Road to Majority conference.
As chair of a U.S. House of Representatives panel investigating specious allegations that Planned Parenthood profited from fetal tissue donations, Blackburn is no stranger to using inflammatory rhetoric.
She derided what she described as thousands of fetal tissue “transactions” during the general session of the joint Faith & Freedom Coalition and Concerned Women for America event.
Screens showing select images of Blackburn’s “evidence,” which reportedly duplicated or nearly duplicated the documents in the widely discredited Center for Medical Progress (CMP) videos that triggered the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives’ investigation, flanked her on either side of the stage.
Held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C., the three-day conference features panel discussions with titles such as “First Amendment Revolt: How to Stop the Left’s All-Out Assault on Religious Freedom & Freedom of Speech” and “A Cronyism Crisis: How Corporate Welfare Undermines Markets and Human Flourishing.”
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Blackburn opened the general session, which featured a roster of prominent conservative lawmakers and activists. Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump closed the session.
Blackburn’s remarks garnered the loudest rounds of applause when she pointed to her “strong, pro-life” team of Republican colleagues on the panel and touted the constitutional rights of “unborn children” in the country. She also made specific disclosures about the scope of an investigation that recently veered from targeting fetal tissue procurement and research to later abortion care.
Eight procurement businesses are under the panel’s scrutiny, Blackburn told the crowd. She said the panel has issued 36 subpoenas to date but claimed little cooperation from “middle men” and their suppliers—“big abortion.”
She told the crowd she planned to start “the contempt process,” which earned her another round of applause.
Blackburn urged the audience to get involved with the panel, including signing up for the mailing list and downloading documents from the website. The panel’s publicly available subpoenas and other documents have provoked widespread concern in the medical community, particularly after Blackburn’s staff failed to redact researchers’ names and contact information despite past assurances.
Although staff removed the names from the panel’s website after nearly 48 hours, the unredacted versions of the documents remained available for days at the links sent to press in Blackburn’s original news release. The links have since been deactivated.
Blackburn extended her call for activism to the upcoming presidential election. She took swipes at presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and called on conservatives to stand up for the “millions yet unborn” in the election.