The Washington Examiner reported earlier this week that the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives, chaired by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), would meet Wednesday to consider whether to hold StemExpress and its executive, Cate Dyer, in contempt of Congress for its failure to produce a single document that had been subpoenaed.

StemExpress, which has partnered with Planned Parenthood to obtain fetal tissue, made quite a few appearances in undercover videos shot by David Daleiden that appeared to show Planned Parenthood executives haggling over the price of organs and giving advice on how to “crunch” a fetus properly to abort it while preserving the most valuable organs as best as possible.

Rep. Blackburn convened that meeting Wednesday, but it wasn’t long before the Democrats on the panel walked out in protest.

That was more than enough for the Democrats on the panel, who walked after Rep. Jan Schakowsky’s prepared opening statement.

Schakowsky — whose Twitter avatar currently features the words PROTECT ABORTION ACCESS superimposed over her portrait — released a statement Tuesday saying that Blackburn goal was “to harass, intimidate, and ultimately drive companies away from fetal tissue work in an effort to end this important research.”

In case you missed it, Schakowsky considers the panel to be nothing more than a witch hunt. But illegal? Her statement read, in part:

As we have made clear, the Chair and Select Panel have no authority to report contempt to the House or its Speaker a process historically used only by the House Un-American Activities Committee. This illegal meeting is a political sideshow with devastating consequences for anyone who cares about women’s health care or life-saving medical research.

Schakowsky even managed to work the Zika virus into her statement, noting that Blackburn’s actions were “particularly troubling as scientists race to understand how the Zika virus impacts fetal brain development and find a possible cure.” Maybe if Democrats weren’t wed to provisions for Planned Parenthood in the Zika funding bill, those scientists would have more money to put toward that research.

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