Pro-choice Groups Fight Back Against Planned Parenthood Defunding
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The U.S. Senate is set to vote today on whether to strip Planned Parenthood of $500 million in federal funding.
The vote comes in the wake of undercover videos made by a California-based anti-abortion group that show Planned Parenthood representatives discussing the provision of fetal tissue for research.
Kathy Kneer, president of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, says her organization supports fetal tissue research, which is legal as long as the provider is solely reimbursed for costs.
"There are no profits involved,” she stresses. “And they take that reimbursement and say we're selling fetal body parts. And it's a lie and a distortion of fact. They're willing to do anything to defund Planned Parenthood and make abortion illegal."
Politicians in many other states have called for investigations into Planned Parenthood, but California's Attorney General Kamala Harris says she plans to investigate the group that made the videos, because taping without consent in California is illegal.
Last week a federal judge halted the release of another video for that same reason.
Dr. Jennifer Kerns is an abortion provider, an assistant professor at the University of California, San Francisco, and a member of Physicians for Reproductive Health.
"Fetal tissue research is a longstanding area of research, and one that has consistently advanced science and medicine,” she points out. “Every member of society has benefited from treatment discoveries that have been made from this research."
Very little of Planned Parenthood's work involves abortion, and it does not use federal funds for the procedure.
Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein have both indicated they plan to vote against the bill to defund the organization.