anti-choice

Nancy Pelosi Urges DOJ Probe Into The Anti-Choice Crusaders Behind The Planned Parenthood ‘Exposé’ Videos

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nancy-pelosiThe anti-choice crusaders behind the viral “Planned Parenthood exposé” videos that have been blowing up everybody’s Facebook feeds since last week had best be ready for a fight, because House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has called for the Department of Justice to launch a probe into their organization.

“Let’s have an investigation of those people who were trying to ensnare Planned Parenthood in a controversy that doesn’t exist,” Pelosi said this afternoon.

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The Center for Medical Progress is an anti-abortion group based in California, and last week it released a highly controversial and allegedly selectively edited video that claimed to prove that Planned Parenthood has been profiting financially from the sale of fetal tissue from abortions. The video was clearly designed to go viral, and it did so.

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The video, which is part of what the New York Times calls “a campaign of deception,” showed Planned Parenthood executives discussing ways to perform abortions that would preserve the most fetal tissue for medical research, and the costs associated with such procedures. The sale of fetal tissue would actually be illegal, but Planned Parenthood says they were doing nothing of the sort. Women who terminate pregnancies are given the option of donating the removed fetal tissue to science, which is completely legal and a valuable contribution to medical research. Planned Parenthood says it does not charge researchers for fetal tissue samples, though they might ask the recipient to cover the costs of shipping. None of that is illegal.

(Related: New Florida Law Requires Two Clinic Visits And A Waiting Period To Get An Abortion)

“Planned Parenthood has said that they have done nothing illegal,” Pelosi said. “They do not ever charge, which would be illegal, for fetal tissue. They have only defrayed the cost of mailing that to someone, which is not breaking the law.”

Unfortunately, the videos have been having exactly their intended effect. On Tuesday, according to the Associated Press, Republican Representative Diane Black introduced a bill that would halt all funding to Planned Parenthood for a year while Congress investigates the allegations in the videos. And according to Yahoo Parenting, Presidential hopeful Rand Paul just added an amendment to a highway bill that would cut $500 million in government funding that goes to Planned Parenthood.

“Not one more taxpayer dollar should go to Planned Parenthood and I intend to make that goal a reality,” Paul said.

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According to the Planned Parenthood website, approximately 40 percent of the organization’s funding comes from government sources, including Medicaid. The majority of Planned Parenthood’s services are devoted to women’s health, contraception, and family planning. Abortions only account for about 3 percent of that, and Planned Parenthood says no government grants and reimbursements actually go towards the abortion procedures the organization provides.

Nancy Pelosi is urging the DOJ to launch an investigation into the legality of the Center for Medical Progress’ political activity, as it was allegedly soliciting donations as a medical research nonprofit. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the decision about whether to undertake such a probe is still being made.

“At this point, we are going to review all the information and determine what steps, if any, to take at the appropriate time,” she said.

(Photo by Alex Wong / Getty Images)