House Republican leaders announced plans Wednesday for a congressional probe of Planned Parenthood's handling of tissue from aborted fetuses, reports The New York Times. Speaker John Boehner and other top Republicans echoed claims by anti-abortion activists that an undercover video released Tuesday suggests Planned Parenthood is selling fetal parts, which the national women's health organization denies.
U.S. law bars selling fetal tissues for profit but allows them to be donated for medical research. A California-based activist group, the Center for Medical Progress, secretly filmed a Planned Parenthood official discussing ways to preserve fetal organs for research purposes while performing abortions.
As does the official in the video, Planned Parenthood says it is repaid by scientific institutions for costs such as preserving or transporting tissues but reaps no profit. Eric Ferrero, a Planned Parenthood spokesman, linked the allegations to Republicans' "longstanding political agenda to ban abortion and defund Planned Parenthood."