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WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Judiciary Committee has opened long-awaited hearings on Planned Parenthood.

Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte says the investigation is intended to protect taxpayers from what he called the kind of "horrors" suggested by secretly recorded videos of group officials discussing the sale of tissue from aborted fetuses.

But Democrats said the investigation is just the latest in a decades-long effort to curtail abortion rights and was based on deceptively edited videos that show no evidence of wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood.

Two months ago, a small group of anti-abortion activists began releasing videos it had surreptitiously recorded. Republicans and conservatives say those videos show Planned Parenthood was illegally selling fetal tissue for profit and violating other federal prohibitions.

Planned Parenthood and its Democratic defenders say there is no evidence of wrongdoing.

Representatives from Planned Parenthood and the Center for Medical Progress, which made the videos, did not testify today.

%@AP Links

211-a-16-(Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., chairman, House Judiciary Committee, at hearing)-"developed unborn children"-House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte says the nation's attention has been caught by a series of undercover videos that purport to show Planned Parethood staffers discussing the exchange of money change for fetal tissue for medical research. (9 Sep 2015)

<<CUT *211 (09/09/15)££ 00:16 "developed unborn children"

214-a-10-(Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., ranking minority member, House Judiciary Committee, at hearing)-"care for women"-Congressman John Conyers says the undercover videos were deceptively edited to smear Planned Parenthood. (9 Sep 2015)

<<CUT *214 (09/09/15)££ 00:10 "care for women"

212-a-13-(Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., chairman, House Judiciary Committee, at hearing)-"have been violated"-House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte says lawmakers want to know if federal money is subsidizing the illegal sale of fetal tissue by Planned Parenthood. (9 Sep 2015)

<<CUT *212 (09/09/15)££ 00:13 "have been violated"

213-a-11-(Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., ranking minority member, House Judiciary Committee, at hearing)-"they were produced"-Congressman John Conyers says the Center for Medical Progress is not at the hearing to answers questions about the editing of the undercover videos. (9 Sep 2015)

<<CUT *213 (09/09/15)££ 00:11 "they were produced"

APPHOTO DCPM104: Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., right, Chairman, House Committee on the Judiciary greets Priscilla Smith, left, Dir. and Senior Fellow Program for the Study of Reproductive Justice, Information Society Project, Yale Law School, and Melissa Ohden, center, pro-life speaker from Gladstone, MO., before the start of the hearing at the Capitol in Washington examining the abortion practices of Planned Parenthood, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015. Today's hearing is Congress' first since the Center for Medical Progress, a small group of anti-abortion activists, began releasing videos in July showing Planned Parenthood officials casually describing how they sometimes obtain tissue from aborted fetuses for medical researchers. Backed by analysts it hired, Planned Parenthood has said the videos were dishonestly edited to distort its officials' remarks and has denied any wrongdoing. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) (9 Sep 2015)

<<APPHOTO DCPM104 (09/09/15)££

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