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Texas Senators Hold Hearing On Fetal Tissue Practices At Planned Parenthood

Officials from Planned Parenthood decline to appear, calling the hearing “political”.

After many days of rumors, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton confirmed Wednesday that he has obtained undercover video from inside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Texas, but he wouldn’t disclose which clinic, or discuss exactly what the video shows.

He did call its contents “consistent” with other undercover videos released in July by the Center for Medical Progress, an anti-abortion group that has infiltrated Planned Parenthood by posing as biomedical researchers.

Paxton spoke during a hearing of the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services.  The hearing eventually stretched more than four hours.

Paxton has launched an investigation of Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas to see if they have violated any laws while collecting fetal tissue for medical researchers.

Attorney General Paxton told the committee it’s too early in his investigation to know.

“It’s about abortion providers and what they’re doing with these remains and looking at the sale, transfer and disposal of these bodies,” he said.

Paxton suggested to the senators they could pass new laws about fetal tissue donation.

“There’s definitely federal law that relates to this,” Paxton said. “There’s probably more that can be done as relates to state law. That’s part of why I’m here. That’s something I think you all are going to have to think about in the future.”

Planned Parenthood officials from Houston and North Texas were invited to testify, but declined.

Spokeswoman Rochelle Tafolla said their attorneys advised against it because of the ongoing investigation. She also noted that people from anti-abortion groups were allowed to speak for about two hours, but the committee didn’t invite anyone from an abortion rights group or from universities that use fetal tissue for medical research.

“This was a political hearing, it really wasn’t a true and fair investigation into this subject,” she said.

Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast did submit written testimony to the committee. (See below.)  

Paxton says his investigation could go on for weeks and will look for possible civil and criminal violations by Planned Parenthood. 

 

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Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is currently the News 88.7 business reporter. Florian’s stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters, the Houston Press Club, National Association of Real Estate Editors, and Public Radio...

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