See more of our coverage on recent attacks against Planned Parenthood here.
After weeks of hearings and allegations made by GOP lawmakers, Missouri state officials said Monday that there will be no further investigation into Planned Parenthood’s policies and practices concerning fetal tissue donation because there has been “no evidence” to substantiate any claims of wrongdoing.
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster released a report detailing his office’s investigation into the tissue handling practices of Planned Parenthood’s Missouri surgical facility and concluded there was no evidence that the facility engaged in unlawful activity.
“The evidence reviewed by my investigators supports Planned Parenthood’s representation that fetal tissue is handled in accordance with Missouri law,” Koster said in a statement. “We have discovered no evidence whatsoever to suggest that Planned Parenthood’s St. Louis facility is selling fetal tissue.”
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Investigators from Koster’s office conducted multiple interviews with representatives from Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri and the pathology laboratory that examines fetal tissue for PPSLR, as required by Missouri law.
Koster’s office also reviewed thousands of pages of documents to inform its findings.
Republican state legislators on the Committee on the Sanctity of Life, led by Sen. Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia), held hearings in response to a series of videos published by an anti-choice front group, the Center for Medical Progress. The videos, released in coordination with GOP lawmakers, feature heavily edited footage of secretly taped conversations with Planned Parenthood officials.
While the purpose of the committee was to conducting hearings on Planned Parenthood’s policies and practices concerning fetal tissue, lawmakers have more often than not used the hearings as an opportunity to attack Planned Parenthood, the University of Missouri, or abortion more generally.
Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement that the results of the investigation mirror those from across the country that have found no evidence of allegations made by CMP, which has close ties to radical and violent parts of the anti-choice movement.
“Extremists who oppose Planned Parenthood’s mission and services are making outrageous and completely false claims,” Laguens said.
“They are engaged in a fraud, intended to deceive the public in order to advance an extreme political agenda,” Laguens said. “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.”