Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee temporarily overpowered their GOP colleagues to block testimony from an anti-Planned Parenthood witness during a hearing Thursday.
Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), protested a graphic video about abortion procedures that was shown to the committee by Dr. Anthony Levatino, who has performed abortions.
“This witness has played a tape that he has now admitted under oath was not prepared in connection with Planned Parenthood at all and I ask that it be stricken from the record of this hearing,” he said, sparring with Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), who controlled the hearing at the time.
The video, which was about five minutes long, included a recording of a graphic phone conversation between a clinician and a young woman who sought an abortion at 27 weeks of pregnancy. The clinician said the abortion, at that term in pregnancy, would cost about $8,000 and increase by $1,000 each week.
But when questioned, Levatino acknowledged that the clinic in question was not Planned Parenthood.
In a rare move, Cicilline called a vote to strike the video from the hearing’s record. And with more Democrats in the hearing room than Republicans at the time, it passed.
Nine Democrats voted to strike the video from the record, compared to seven Republicans who voted against it.
Their victory, however, was short-lived. About five minutes later, several of the committee’s Republican members, including Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), returned to the hearing and called another vote.
The testimony was put back into the record.
“It was just a little bit of parliamentary maneuvering by Democrats there,” a Republican committee aide said.