Abbott calls for investigation of Planned Parenthood

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says he's calling for an investigation into the allegations made by an anti-abortion group in an undercover video of Planned Parenthood.

The video claims to show a top official of the organization discussing over lunch how to abort a fetus and preserve its organs for medical research.

In a written statement issued Tuesday evening, Abbott called the video "unnerving and appalling."

An organization called The Center for Medical Progress used two actors posing as buyers of medical tissue to get a lunch meeting in California with a woman it identified as Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood's senior director of medical services, in July 2014. They secretly recorded the meeting.

The group initially released a nine-minute excerpt and later provided a longer, 160-minute version.

The video includes a graphic description about tissues and body parts, and eventually the discussion turns to money.

CMP's primary claim is that Planned Parenthood profits from organ and tissue donation from aborted fetuses.

Tissue donation is common in medical research; but buying and selling human fetal tissue is illegal in the U.S.

At one point in the video, the purported buyer asks about cost.

"What price range would you?" she asks.

"I would throw a number out," the Planned Parenthood executive responds. "I'm going to say it's probably anywhere from $30 to $100, depending on the facility and what's involved."

Planned Parenthood national spokesman Eric Ferrero responded to the video, saying it comes from a well-funded group established to damage them.

"In health care, patients sometimes want to donate tissue to scientific research that can help lead to medical breakthroughs — such as treatments and cures for serious diseases. Women at Planned Parenthood who have abortions are no different," Ferrero said. "There is no financial benefit for tissue donation for either the patient or for Planned Parenthood."

Late Tuesday evening, Abbott responded in writing to the claims made by The Center for Medical Progress.

"In light of the video, I have directed the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to conduct an immediate investigation of this alleged practice in addition to a separate investigation ordered by the Texas Office of the Attorney General."

Who is funding The Center for Medical Progress? News 8 asked for the non-profit's tax records. As of late Tuesday, no one had responded to our request. The organization lists an address in Irving, California on its website. A non-profit group by the same name has an address in Sacramento in an Internal Revenue Service database.


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