Several Republican lawmakers have called for an investigation of Planned Parenthood health clinics in Wisconsin, following the release of a video from an anti-abortion group that claims to show discussions about the sale of fetal body parts.
Planned Parenthood has described the secretly recorded video as “heavily edited” and said the discussions about pricing were actually about reimbursement costs for transporting donated tissue to research facilities, which it says is a common practice. The provider said any tissue is donated voluntarily and “there is no financial benefit…for either the patient or for Planned Parenthood.”
Officials with Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin argue there’s no reason for an investigation of its state operations, because fetal tissue donations are not allowed at any of its facilities. Executive Director Tanya Atkinson says it’s due to the extensive infrastructure that’s needed to participate.
AUDIO: Tanya Atkinson, Planned Parenthood (:08)
Atkinson called requests for an investigation by Republicans an attempt to turn the video into a “political opportunity,” noting that the group behind the video and its supporters are advocates for completely abolishing abortion and placing other restrictions on how women access health care.
State Sen. Duey Stroebel (R-Cedarburg), one of the lawmakers calling for an investigation, does not accept Planned Parenthood’s claims that tissue collection is not done in Wisconsin. “No, I’m not going to just take their word for it. I think we need to see that and confirm that.”
AUDIO: Sen. Duey Stroebel (:14)
Atkinson says Planned Parenthood, which operates 22 health centers in the state and is entering its 80th anniversary in Wisconsin, will continue to be here, “despite all of the political attacks that will obviously come our way.”