Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton entered the controversial fray over “sting” videos produced by an anti-abortion group that claim to show Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of tissue from aborted fetuses.
Clinton called the campaign an “attack” on the reproductive healthcare provider, as well as on women’s right to an abortion.
“I think it is unfortunate that Planned Parenthood has been the object of such a concerted attack for so many years,” Clinton said at a Greenville, S.C. event Thursday, according to ThinkProgress. “And it’s really an attack against a woman’s right to choose, to make the most personal, difficult decisions that any woman would face, based on her faith and the medical advice that she’s given.”
The two edited videos released in recent days by a group going by the name Center of Medical Progress appear to show Planned Parenthood officials discussing with the actors posing as tissue buyers how affiliates procure tissues for researchers and what they charge for specimens.
Planned Parenthood says that affiliates only charge researchers for the expenses of providing the fetal tissue, not for the tissue itself, and that affiliates are complying with the legal and industry standards.
The casual tone with which the officials discuss the pricing, as well as the apparent suggestion that abortion procedures are altered to better salvage tissue for researchers, have caused a stir among lawmakers. State and national politicians have launched various investigations into the claims made by the group, which has ties to the anti-abortion movement.
Some GOP lawmakers revealed that they had seen the videos before their official release earlier this month. The videos have also spurred an effort to cut off federal funding to Planned Parenthood, which goes to clinics’ non-abortion services.
“I don’t have all the facts,” Clinton said Thursday, “but Planned Parenthood has apologized for the insensitivity of the employee that was taped, and they will continue to answer questions from Congress and others.”