The White House stated on Thursday that President Barack Obama would reject every Republican effort to defund Planned Parenthood, the health organization that performs abortions.
The reproductive health organization has been under Republican fire for a long time, but gained a lot of media coverage in the previous weeks with the emergence of videos of alleged selling of aborted fetal tissue and body parts.
The video that got immense exposure on the Internet was produced by the Center for Medial Progress, an organization of journalists that monitor medical ethics. It received a lot of attention and reactions from Republican Presidential candidates. According to Reuters, Rick Perry said that the video was a reminder of “the organization’s penchant for profiting off the tragedy of a destroyed human life.”
The video shows Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s senior director of medical services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola discussing the sale of body part to a biological company.
According to Reuters, Planned Parenthood reacted immediately and stated “Patients sometimes want to donate tissue to scientific research that can help lead to medical breakthroughs, such as treatments and cures for serious diseases. At several of our health centers, we help patients who want to donate tissue for scientific research, and we do this just like every other high-quality health care provider does – with full, appropriate consent from patients and under the highest ethical and legal standards. There is no financial benefit for tissue donation for either the patient or for Planned parenthood.”
Despite claims of Planned Parenthood that they do not receive profits for fetal tissue donation, Republican legislators are seeking an investigation and elimination of its Federal funding, with an amendment by Republican Presidential hopeful Rand Paul aimed to cut $500 million in taxpayer funding and a bill by Republican Diane Black to place a moratorium on the organization’s federal funding while it is being investigated.
After the release of three videos, U.S. Senators are discussing measures for defunding the organization and according to Reuters, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel said they are having meetings to “see if we can have a meeting of the minds on the best way to craft a measure to deal with the horrendous videos that we’ve all been viewing.”
On the other hand, senior Democrats have been defending Planned Parenthood and according to Reuters House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said that “Republicans are creating a controversy that doesn’t exist. They’ve been out to get Planned Parenthood for as long as I can remember. But women’s health is what’s at stake, and Planned Parenthood is a very important part of prompting women’s health in our country.”
According to Reuters, Democrat Presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton has stated that these Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood are “regrettable” and that their effort is an attempt to limit healthcare options for women.
Planned Parenthood says that the videos are the most recent attack on their work and this campaign has been going for a very long time. And have repeated that there are no financial benefits and no law breaking. The only costs received are to cover expenses associated with fetal tissue donation. According to Reuters, the organization also stated that it has been under cyber attacks these days, which only shows how far opponents of women’s rights will go.
Abortions comprise only 3 percent of the services that Planned Parenthood provides, among family planning and pregnancy prevention.