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July 17, 2015

Planned Parenthood Head Defends Group's Use of Fetal Tissue

Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards apologized Thursday for the "tone" of an organization executive's videotaped remarks on utilizing the organs of aborted fetuses but said the nonprofit is closely observing legal and ethical rules in donating the tissue for medical research, The Washington Post and CNN report.

The undercover video released Tuesday by anti-abortion group the Center for Medical Progress shows Planned Parenthood medical services head Deborah Nucatola, meeting with activists posing as officials from a biotech company, graphically describing how abortions can be performed to preserve in-demand organs. Ms. Richards said Planned Parenthood strives to provide compassionate care and Ms. Nucatola spoke "in a way that does not reflect that compassion."

But Ms. Richards vigorously defended the tissue program, saying it yields no profit and is undertaken only with consent from women patients, as required by law. She said the video was heavily edited to foster "outrageous claims" and that its aim is to ban abortion "and cut women off from care at Planned Parenthood and other health centers."

Planned Parenthood says it receives payment from research centers but only to cover its costs in preserving and transporting the tissue. The governors of Georgia and Indiana and Ohio's attorney general ordered investigations Thursday into whether the organization is illegally selling fetal organs, the Associated Press writes. Congressional Republicans are planning a similar investigation.