Minnesota Governor Denounces GOP ‘Grandstanding’ Over Planned Parenthood Attack Videos

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Minnesota Governor Denounces GOP ‘Grandstanding’ Over Planned Parenthood Attack Videos

Nina Liss-Schultz

Republicans nationwide have urged their state attorneys general and governors to look into Planned Parenthood affiliate organizations.

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

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton on Tuesday said that he will not investigate Planned Parenthood in the state, calling GOP demands that he do so “grandstanding.”

Following the release of heavily edited attack videos recorded covertly by anti-choice activists, in which Planned Parenthood officials explained the organization’s fetal tissue donation program to people they believed to be legitimate medical professionals, Republican lawmakers across the country have insisted that the video is evidence of an illegal fetal tissue trafficking scheme.

Republicans nationwide have urged their state attorneys general to look into Planned Parenthood affiliate organizations.

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GOP lawmakers in Minnesota joined that chorus on Monday, writing in a letter to Dayton that they “hope you, as governor, share our desire to make sure this abhorrent and illegal practice is not occurring in Minnesota.”

The Planned Parenthood affiliate organization that serves Minnesota and North and South Dakota does not have a fetal tissue donation program, according to the organization’s CEO, Sarah Stoesz.

“In fact, when women ask our physicians if it is possible to donate tissue for research, we have no way of accommodating them,” Stoesz wrote in a letter to the StarTribune.

Fetal tissue donation programs are legal and go toward medical research that has contributed to advances in treatment of Parkinson’s disease and the invention of the polio vaccine.

Dayton, a member of Minnesota’s Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, rejected the GOP calls to investigate as “grandstanding.”

“As far as I’m concerned, there’s no basis for an investigation at taxpayer expense into a private nonprofit organization that has stated they don’t engage in those practices here in Minnesota,” Dayton told local reporters.

Some Republican governors, particularly those running for president in 2016, have announced investigations into the country’s largest women’s health-care network. U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) called for an investigation into Planned Parenthood last week, a demand met swiftly by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, whose chairman, Fred Upton (R-MI), said that the first video is “abhorrent and rips at the heart.”

Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Ted Cruz (R-TX), both running for president, have introduced amendments to a highway funding bill defunding Planned Parenthood.

Meanwhile, four House Democrats on Wednesday called for an investigation into whether the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), the anti-choice group behind the attack videos, illegally mischaracterized itself as a biomedical educational organization.