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July 24, 2015

Videos Spark New Drive to Cut Planned Parenthood Funding

Surreptitiously shot videos in which Planned Parenthood officials discuss how to perform abortions to retain fetal tissue for medical research are rekindling anti-abortion activists' hopes to end government funding of the women's health organization, The Wall Street Journal writes.

Abortion foes have long pushed for such a ban because Planned Parenthood provides abortions and lobbies for reproductive rights.

Two undercover videos distributed this month by anti-abortion group the Center for Medical Progress show Planned Parenthood medical officials describing in graphic detail how fetal organs can be maintained for scientific purposes. They also discuss reimbursement for the cost of preserving and transporting the tissue to research centers but state that the organization does not reap a profit. Federal law bars selling fetal tissue for financial gain but allows it to be donated for research.

Some congressional Republicans are pushing legislation to end federal support for the Planned Parenthood, which gets about $500 million a year in taxpayer funds to provide care for Medicaid recipients, contraception through family-planning programs, and other health services. The group is barred by law from using federal money for abortions. Planned Parenthood has defended the tissue-donation program and launched a social-media campaign to generate support amid the video controversy.