Planned Parenthood did not mishandle fetal tissue and was not engaged in wrongdoing in Missouri, the state’s Attorney General Chris Koster concluded Monday.
An investigation into the women’s health organization was prompted after the Center for Medical Progress, a pro-life group, released videos allegedly showing top Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of fetal body parts. Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards said the videos were “heavily edited,” but apologized for the “tone” expressed by some of her employees in the videos.
“Koster’s investigation examined in detail the tissue-handling practices of Planned Parenthood’s Missouri surgical facility and concluded there was no evidence that the facility engaged in unlawful activity,” according to a press release.
In addition to interviewing multiple Planned Parenthood employees in the St. Louis area, investigators also combed through thousands of pages of documents related to the “process for the disposal of fetal tissue,” the attorney general’s office said. They concluded that, after an abortion procedure, fetal tissue was carefully transported to a pathology lab, and was subsequently destroyed in an incinerator by a “waste-disposal company.”
“The evidence reviewed by my investigators supports Planned Parenthood’s representation that fetal tissue is handled in accordance with Missouri law,” Koster, a Democrat, said in a statement. “We have discovered no evidence whatsoever to suggest that Planned Parenthood’s St. Louis facility is selling fetal tissue.”
The videos ignited a firestorm of controversy on the campaign trail. After using the content of the videos as a stern and memorable talking point in the recent CNN Republican Debate, presidential candidate Carly Fiorina was asked whether she “exaggerated” her description of the videos, a charge she dismissed. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) questioned the authenticity of the videos, saying, “I don’t stipulate that these videos are real.”
You can read the full Missouri Attorney General’s report here.
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