UPDATE: This post has been updated with comments from Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota who say they don’t have a fetal tissue donation program.
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — A group of Minnesota lawmakers has called on Gov. Mark Dayton to investigate claims that Planned Parenthood is selling human fetal tissue in violation of federal law, claims that the birth control organization dismisses as false.
This call follows an anti-abortion group’s release of a video showing a Planned Parenthood official discussing the disposal of body parts from aborted fetuses. In the video, released by the group Center for Medical Progress, a top Planned Parenthood official discusses how the group sometimes provides tissue from aborted fetuses for medical research, a conversation over wine and lunch she was having with two actors posing as purchasers of fetal organs.
However, a representative says that Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota South Dakota does not have a fetal donation tissue program. Jen Aulwes, Communication Director for the organization, says that patients often ask about donating tissue for research, but the organization cannot accomodate the request.
Still, the letter from Minnesota lawmakers says that, even though U.S. House Speaker John Boehner said he would be launching an investigation into whether Planned Parenthood was breaking federal law, “a similar investigation should be conducted here in Minnesota.”
Sixty-five lawmakers signed their names to the letter, including House Speaker Kurt Daudt, Majority Leader Joyce Peppin, and Minority Leader David Hann.
Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood told Congress Monday that a secretly recorded video released last week by an anti-abortion group is fraudulent and part of a decadelong pattern of illegal harassment aimed at prohibiting abortion and intimidating women and doctors.
“A group of extremists who have intimidated women and doctors for years — in their agenda to ban abortion completely — are not ‘documenting’ misdeeds; they are trying to create them, quite unsuccessfully,” the group wrote to lawmakers.
Minnesota is not the only state whose lawmakers are calling for investigations in the wake of the video’s release. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Monday rejected calls from Virginia House Republican leaders for a similar investigation, whereas the governors of Georgia and Indiana have ordered investigations.
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