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Dem rep: Planned Parenthood one of nation’s ‘finest organizations’

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Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) on Wednesday defended Planned Parenthood’s role in American society, calling it one of the nation’s most important institutions.
 
“It is one of the finest organizations in this country,” Cohen said during a House Judiciary Committee meeting, according to CNS News.
 
{mosads}“It helps women, women of color, poor women, and it gives them a choice — as the Supreme Court gave them choice,” he said of the women’s healthcare organization.
 
“For me, Planned Parenthood is part of my DNA,” Cohen added.  “It’s about upholding the law of the land.”
 
Cohen’s remarks come amid renewed national debate over Planned Parenthood’s federal funding.
 
Controversy over the organization’s medical practices erupted earlier this summer following the release of a series of videos showing its officials in secretly recorded discussions.
 
The clips have infuriated conservatives, who believe Planned Parenthood affiliates are profiting from the illegal sale of fetal tissue for research purposes.
 
Cohen said Congress noted Planned Parenthood’s federal funding is already blocked from paying for abortions.
 
“I say fund Planned Parenthood — it doesn’t deliver abortions with federal funds,” he said. “This hearing is about abortion, and I support Roe v. Wade.”
 
Planned Parenthood has repeatedly argued that the Center for Medical Progress’s undercover video series is intentionally misleading.
 
At issue is whether Planned Parenthood is using taxpayer dollars for its medical practices involving fetal tissue.
 
Federal law prohibits the use of government funds from directly paying for abortions.

Planned Parenthood criticized the House hearing on Wednesday for not inviting its officials for testimony. 

“This hearing was political theater at its very worst,” said Dawn Laguens, executive vice president for Planned Parenthood Federation of America. 

“It’s clear this hearing was not about Planned Parenthood – it was a chance for anti-abortion extremists and members of Congress to promote their political agenda of banning abortion in this country,” Laguens added.

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