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House Republicans are gearing up to launch a committee dedicated solely to investigating—well, a lot of things having to do with abortion. But if you liked the Oversight and Government Reform committee hearing yesterday, when they grilled PP President Cecile Richards (reviews were mixed), you’ll love the new, quasi-permanent inquiry. […]

Rep. Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican, announced on September 26 that the effort was in the works. Since then, Republicans have rallied behind her. A senior House Republican aide told The Daily Beast that the lower chamber could vote as early as next week to establish the committee

Sigh. What could be better than an open-ended vaguely-defined committee with deep pockets? Three or four of them.

Two other committees are investigating the organization, along with Oversight and Government Reform: the Energy and Commerce Committee, and the Judiciary Committee, according to a press release from Speaker John Boehner’s office.

Well OK, I don’t know if the others have the same scope as the first, but when they’re joined by eleven state-level investigations you have a pretty effective death-by-a-thousand-cuts. Things are getting ridiculous.

In a signature move from Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, he ordered an investigation though Planned Parenthood’s lone abortion clinic in the state hasn’t even opened yet. […]

Planned Parenthood responded swiftly by filing suit Monday against Governor Gary Herbert of Utah, on the heels of their suits against Jindal and Governor Robert Bentley of Alabama. Planned Parenthood’s victory in the suits is likely. A motion filed by the U.S. Department of Justice in the suit against Jindal argues that the state of Louisiana’s effort is “wholly without merit,” a sign of yet another losing battle for vigilant anti-abortion states nationwide.

It’s not a complete washout, though.

Of the 11 states investigating Planned Parenthood’s alleged mishandling of fetal remains, seven have concluded in a whimper. In a statement released Monday, Missouri’s Attorney General announced that there was “no evidence whatsoever to suggest that Planned Parenthood’s St. Louis facility is selling fetal tissue.” The findings came after an audit of every procedure performed by the state’s only authorized abortion facility over a 30-day span.

And let’s not forget the ten videos that started all this were heavily and deceptively edited. The committee chairs probably know this, as they never invitied the video’s creators to testify, nor apparently bothered to watch all the videos. Even some anti-choicers think the latest effort is a bit over-the-top. Still, there’s chance they’ll find something in all this digging.

If that sounds a bit like the House’s investigation of how the White House handled the 2012 terrorist attacks on the Benghazi consulate, it’s because it is.

That select committee has long drawn scorching criticism, including from some conservatives who have argued it isn’t working fast enough. But it also netted Republicans one of their biggest wins of the last year: the discovery that Hillary Clinton used a personal email address on a private server as Secretary of State. That find generated a cascade of terrible news for the now-candidate.

They must be hoping to close the twenty point gap in popularity between Planned Parenthood and the leading Republican candidate, so they can triumph over them during the next election.

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