Planned Parenthood Changes Fetal Tissue Rules

Planned Parenthood blinked.

The nation’s No. 1 provider of abortions announced that it would no longer accept reimbursement for providing fetal tissue for research after this summer’s sting videos showed Planned Parenthood officials apparently haggling over prices for aborted baby body parts.

Planned Parenthood affiliates on the West Coast have provided fetal tissue for research. The Washington affiliates don’t accept reimbursement, according to Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards. The Oregon affiliate has provided placental tissue in exchange for money, according to the Wall Street Journal. California affiliates have accepted payment — excuse me, “reimbursement” — for tissues, and the videos featured California Planned Parenthood personnel.

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Richards announced the policy change in a letter to the National Institutes of Health. She maintained that Planned Parenthood has followed the letter of the law and that it is somehow a victim of videos by the Center for Medical Progress.

Planned Parenthood and its followers continue to repeat the story that the videos were somehow “deceptively” edited and misleading. A forensic analysis by Coalfire Systems found no evidence of manipulation of the videos beyond removing irrelevant footage time such as bathroom breaks and time eating meals.

Congress has so far failed in efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, which receives about $500,000 annually from the federal government, most of it from medical payments.

After hearing Tuesday’s news, presidential candidate Ted Cruz said Planned Parenthood needs to be prosecuted because the videos show the group’s officials “essentially admitting to a pattern of felony.”

The pro-abortion crowd have tried to make this into a fight about women’s health care, claiming that it is a leading provider of care to poor women. Even President Obama has repeated the lie that Planned Parenthood provides mammograms, which none of its clinics does.

Planned Parenthood lies about a lot of what it does. One of the biggest whoppers it tells regularly and has included in its annual reports is that abortions are “only” 3 percent of the services it provides. That one’s been thoroughly debunked because Planned Parenthood’s own numbers in its annual report prove that no less than 12 percent of visits to a Planned Parenthood clinic are for purposes of obtaining an abortion, and abortions probably use a much larger percentage of clinic services than that.

Planned Parenthood officials also shy away from discussing how much they spend on lobbying politicians to promote their cause, all of which makes it vitally important that Congress pries open Planned Parenthood’s books and makes its findings publicly known.

Richards’ announcement of changing policy on fetal tissue sales — I mean “reimbursements” — sounds an awful lot like an admission of guilt, though no doubt Planned Parenthood will continue to obfuscate the truth and inveigle congressmen and -women.

Cruz is right. Congress must continue to press this issue despite foot-dragging and roadblocks from GOP leadership and the Democrats. The lives of innocents are too important.

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