Since a string of controversial, heavily-edited videos released by anti-abortion groups accusing Planned Parenthood of profiting illegally from its fetal tissue donation program, the women’s health care organization hasn’t been able to catch a break. In an effort to silence those who believe Planned Parenthood is out to profit from the donations — a legal transaction — President Cecile Richards announced this week that it will no longer accept any reimbursement for fetal tissue that it provides to medical researchers. Richards, who held her own while testifying before the House Committee of Oversight and Government Reform for five hours last month, said the move takes away the “smokescreen” of Planned Parenthood’s opponents.
“In order to completely debunk the disingenuous argument that our opponents have been using — and to reveal the true political purpose of these attacks — our Federation has decided, going forward, that any Planned Parenthood health center that is involved in donating tissue after an abortion for medical research will follow the model already in place at one of our two affiliates currently facilitating donations for fetal tissue research. That affiliate accepts no reimbursement for its reasonable expenses — even though reimbursement is fully permitted under the 1993 law,” she said. Only three Planned Parenthood donations currently provide fetal or placental tissue, which is donated by women who wish to provide the matter for medical research.
Read Cecile Richards’ full statement at Planned Parenthood.