By Sarah Ferris - 07/23/15 11:27 AM EDT
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday joined calls for a federal investigation into the California-based anti-abortion group that sparked the Planned Parenthood hidden camera controversy.
“Let’s have an investigation of those people who were trying to ensnare Planned Parenthood in a controversy that doesn’t exist,” Pelosi said Thursday in her first public remarks about Planned Parenthood since the first undercover video surfaced last week.
A long-time abortion rights champion, Pelosi dismissed accusations that Planned Parenthood has raked in profits from its fetal tissue donation program.
“Planned Parenthood has said that they have done nothing illegal,” she said. “They do not ever charge, which would be illegal, for fetal tissue. They have only defrayed the cost of mailing that to someone, which is not breaking the law.”
She also criticized the selectively edited videos released by the Center for Medical Progress, pointing to the “disparities" between actual film and edited versions.
Her remarks come one day after White House press secretary Josh Earnest also defended the women’s health provider.
Planned Parenthood, which receives several hundred million dollars in federal funding, is now facing new attacks from Republicans, who say they have more momentum than ever to defund the group.
House Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerTop Lobbyists 2016: Hired Guns The Hill's 12:30 Report Rep. Meadows to run for Freedom Caucus chairman MORE (R-Ohio) has also ordered congressional investigations into Planned Parenthood’s practices, as well as a half-dozen governors.
Pelosi dismissed the GOP’s attacks against Planned Parenthood, which she said “has been going on for a long time.”
She said government investigators should, instead, focus on the legality of the Center for Medical Progress’s political activity, backing an effort by several House Democrats who have called for a Department of Justice probe.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Wednesday that she would review “all information” available before deciding to launch a full investigation.