State Probes Find Zero Planned Parenthood Violations As Antiabortion Group Is Sued Over Undercover Videos

Jennifer Gerson Uffalussy
·Contributing Writer
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Planned Parenthood has come under fire, but two investigations this week found no wrongdoing by the organization. (Photo: Getty Images)

The antiabortion group Center for Medical Progress (CMP) has now released four highly edited undercover videos claiming to show executives at Planned Parenthood “haggling” over the pricing for fetal tissue donation (or “baby-part pricing,” as CMP calls it), a long-standing legal practice in which woman can choose to donate their aborted fetuses to medical research — research behind some of the most lifesaving innovations of modern medicine.

Federal law requires that healthcare providers be reimbursed for their costs in the processing, storage, and shipment of fetal tissue samples to be used for medical research. But the videos claim to show Planned Parenthood attempting to make a profit off of these charges and have mobilized a number of GOP-led investigations into Planned Parenthood at the state and national level.

In CMP’s fourth video, released Thursday, the organization continues its claims that Planned Parenthood accepts illegal payment for fetal tissue. (Video: YouTube)

The Senate could vote on a bill to defund the organization as early as Monday — a bill which is not expected to pass due to lack of support from Democrats and, even if it did, would face a potential White House veto.

On Friday, CMP and its founder, David Daleiden, were sued in San Francisco federal court by the National Abortion Federation, a nonprofit representing abortion providers, which claims that the campaign violates its members’ privacy and threatens their safety. The lawsuit seeks a court order halting further releases of videos containing names, addresses, and other private information about NAF members, including information drawn from the group’s meetings.

Related: Who Is the 26-Year-Old Man Behind the Planned Parenthood ‘Sting’ Videos?

Additionally, two state level investigations have so far shown no wrongdoing by the national women’s health organization.

In an investigation in Indiana — called for earlier this month by Governor Mike Pence, a staunch conservative and leading voice in the Republican party — the Indiana Department of Health has ruled that the nonprofit women’s healthcare provider was in full compliance with all state regulations.

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Governor Mike Pence of Indiana called for an investigation into Planned Parenthood Indiana, which turned up in the clear. (Photo: Getty Images)

“The investigation has concluded there was no evidence of this type of activity at these sites,” said the Indiana Department of Health in a statement, referring to the accusations that the three surgical abortion centers run by Planned Parenthood in the state were collecting fetal tissue without patients’ consent and selling it for profit.

In Massachusetts, a similar statewide investigation was also closed earlier this week, likewise finding no wrongdoing.

Related: Why Women Do (and Don’t) Choose Fetal Tissue Donation After Abortion

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said, “Over the past week, my office has conducted a thorough review and found that Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts’ health care centers are fully compliant with state and federal laws regarding the disposition of fetal tissue. Although donation of fetal tissue is permissible under state and federal law, PPLM does not have a tissue donation program. There is no evidence that PPLM is involved in any way in the buying or selling of tissue. As such, our review is complete.”

She added: “I will fight to support Planned Parenthood and preserve the essential health services that they provide to so many women. I urge everyone who cares about these issues to do the same.”

“We are pleased this unfounded complaint is resolved,” said Betty Cockrum, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky in a statement. “As we’ve said all along, PPINK doesn’t participate in a tissue donation program. We hold compliance with all laws and regulations as an imperative. We’re not surprised the surveyors found the claims unsubstantiated. Perhaps now Indiana’s executive leadership will focus on measures such as teen pregnancy prevention and reducing the cycle of poverty to truly advance the dream of thriving Hoosier families.”

Yesterday, the Center for Medical Progress released its fourth video attacking Planned Parenthood, the second in its “Human Capital” series.

With additional reporting by Reuters

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