News Politics

Texas Governor Hopes to Create Redundant Fetal Tissue Laws

Andrea Grimes

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said he will seek to "eliminate and criminalize any sale or transaction of fetal tissue by an abortion clinic for any purpose whatsoever" as part of a his response to widely discredited videos targeting Planned Parenthood.

See more of our coverage on the misleading Center for Medical Progress videos here.

Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said Friday that he will seek to “eliminate and criminalize any sale or transaction of fetal tissue by an abortion clinic for any purpose whatsoever” as part of a his response to heavily edited and widely discredited videos targeting Planned Parenthood.

Research using fetal tissue has led to vaccines for polio, hepatitis A, chickenpox, rubella, and rabies.

The Republican governor’s “LIFE” initiative includes a call to remove public funding for “Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers” at both the state and federal level. It is illegal under both federal and state law for abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood locations that provide abortion care, to receive public funding.

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Texas’ GOP-majority legislature has already prevented Planned Parenthood—that is, Planned Parenthood affiliates that do not provide abortion care—from receiving public funds in order to provide contraception and cancer screenings for low-income residents. Starting September 1, Texas is also preventing Planned Parenthood from providing publicly funded cancer screenings and treatments under its state-run cancer program.

Abbott’s proposal includes a state ban on “partial-birth abortion,” a procedure already banned under federal law, and a state ban on “altering” an abortion procedure “to preserve fetal body parts,” which is already banned under federal law.

Abbott said he would like to “improve and expand” adoption services in Texas and “increase awareness” about child support.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton—who this week was arraigned on two first degree counts and one third degree count of felony securities fraud—has said he is “investigating” Planned Parenthood for its fetal tissue donation policies.

No Texas Planned Parenthood affiliate participates in fetal tissue donation programs. Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast worked with the University of Texas Medical Branch, a publicly funded hospital, on a miscarriage study that involved fetal tissue in 2010. Paxton so far does not appear to be investigating the University of Texas Medical Branch’s fetal tissue sourcing or use policies.

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