Pennsylvania becomes fifth state to find no Planned Parenthood wrongdoing

Pennsylvania becomes fifth state to find no Planned Parenthood wrongdoing
© Francis Rivera

Pennsylvania has found no wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood in the state after a review, according to a letter from the state health department. 

That decision makes it the fifth state to announce that they have found no wrongdoing by the organization in the wake of controversial undercover videos showing officials discussing the price of fetal tissue for medical research. Planned Parenthood says the officials are discussing compensation for expenses, which is legal, and not profit. 

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The organization also says it only has fetal tissue donation programs in two states, California and Washington.

Pennsylvania joins Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts and South Dakota as stated that have conducted reviews and found no fetal tissue sales or violations of the law. 

“Although donation of fetal tissue is lawful under the Abortion Control Act and federal law, our review has found that Planned Parenthood facilities in Pennsylvania do not participate in this practice,” Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Karen Murphy wrote in a letter to a state legislator. “Moreover, there is no evidence that any Planned Parenthood site in this Commonwealth is involved in the buying or selling of fetal tissue.”

Murphy said Planned Parenthood has contracted with “appropriate vendors to properly dispose of tissue.”

“Since 2011 when the Department instituted annual and random unannounced surveys of Planned Parenthood facilities in Pennsylvania, the Department has never found a violation of the Abortion Control Act provisions regarding the procurement or use of fetal tissue,” Murphy adds.   

Planned Parenthood on Friday touted the results, using them to argue that congressional investigations into the group are uncalled for. 

“We will of course cooperate with legitimate investigations, but it is clear that the public does not want elected officials spending time and money looking into patently false claims that are simply designed to advance an extreme anti-abortion agenda,” the group’s executive vice president, Dawn Laguens, said in a statement. 

“Pennsylvania has cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing — just like officials in every other state where these investigations have concluded,” she said. “As we have said time and time again, Planned Parenthood follows all laws and has very high medical standards, and that's what all of these investigations are finding.”