Planned Parenthood announces it will stop accepting reimbursements for fetal tissue donations used for medical research. Richards says the move is to debunk GOP attacks:
In order to completely debunk the disingenuous argument that our opponents have been using – and to reveal the true political purpose of these attacks – our Federation has decided, going forward, that any Planned Parenthood health center that is involved in donating tissue after an abortion for medical research will follow the model already in place at one of our two affiliates currently facilitating donations for fetal tissue research…Going forward, all of our health centers will follow the same policy, even if it means they will not recover reimbursements permitted by the 1993 law…[This decision is meant] to take away any basis for attacking Planned Parenthood to advance an anti-abortion political agenda.
U.S. congressional Republicans challenge Planned Parenthood’s eligibility for federal funds, while Richards states that defunding it would restrict women’s access to care and disproportionately hurt low-income patients. Chairman Chaffetz:
As far as I can tell … this is an organization that doesn’t need federal subsidy
Richards also admits, in an exchange with Love that Planned Parenthood does not provide mammograms.
We do not have mammogram machines at our health centers. And we’ve never stated that we did. As I think has been — was mentioned earlier, for women who go for a breast exam, just as I got for my annual, you get a breast exam, and if you need a mammogram, you’re referred to a radiological clinic, and that’s what we do at Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood releases a statement on the undercover video:
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. 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. In some instances, actual costs, such as the cost to transport tissue to leading research centers, are reimbursed, which is standard across the medical field…A well funded group established for the purpose of damaging Planned Parenthood’s mission and services has promoted a heavily edited, secretly recorded videotape that falsely portrays Planned Parenthood’s participation in tissue donation programs that support lifesaving scientific research.
The organization also releases a video apology by Richards:
Our top priority is the compassionate care we provide. In the video one of our staff member speaks in a way that does not reflect that compassion. This is unacceptable and I personally apologize for the staff members tone and statements…We know the real agenda of organizations behind video like that, and they have never been concerned of protecting the health and safety of women. Their mission is to ban abortion completely…and we will never let that happen.