A day after a vote to defund Planned Parenthood failed in the Senate, an antiabortion group continued its attack on the organization, releasing the fifth video showing footage of fetal organs being examined in a laboratory and a leader of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast discussing the cost of providing them to a company.
The video attack, which has been decried as unethical and intentionally misleading by Planned Parenthood, has rallied conservative opposition to Planned Parenthood, though a bill to strip the organization of funding failed a procedural hurdle and President Obama has said he would veto it.
But the work of the group, Center for Medical Progress, has begun to trigger responses among the states. On Monday afternoon, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal announced that the state would terminate its Medicaid contract with Planned Parenthood due to the videos. In response to the latest video, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said the state would aggressively investigate the matter "and must use all available legal remedies." At the same time, a number of states have launched investigations and several have reported over the last week that the agency is not in violation of state or federal laws.
“The latest video showing Planned Parenthood’s treatment of unborn children in a Houston clinic is repulsive and unconscionable," Abbott said in a statement. "Selling baby body parts is the furthest thing imaginable from providing women’s healthcare, and this organization’s repeated and systematic disrespect for human life is appalling."
The video, like previously ones released by the group, is highly edited. It shows Melissa Farrell, the director of research for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast discussing providing fetal tissues to actors who were posing as representatives of a human biologics company. At the end of the video, the video shows graphic footage of the laboratory, including organs.
"The footage released today doesn’t show Planned Parenthood staff engaged in any wrongdoing or agreeing to violate any legal or medical standards. Instead, the latest tape shows an extremely offensive intrusion and lack of respect for women, with footage of medical tissue in a lab," Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America said in a statement. "The latest tape has at least 20 substantial and unexplained edits. Previous tapes released by this extremist group were heavily edited in order to distort what the people on the tapes actually said. These videos are intended to shock and deceive the public."
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said in a statement that a thorough week-long review found that Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts’ health care centers were in compliance with state and federal laws.
"There is no evidence that Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts is involved in any way in the buying or selling of tissue," Healey said. "As such, our review is complete."
In mid-July, Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana ordered his state health department to do an investigation of Planned Parenthood, to see whether clinics were violating the law by selling or disposing of fetal tissue illegally. Last week, the agency released its findings.
"The investigation has concluded there was no evidence of this type of activity at these sites," the Indiana department of health said in a statement.