WASHINGTON, DC — Officials with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) found no wrongdoing in its preliminary inquiry of 16 Planned Parenthood health centers in Florida and announced it will not pursue further investigations. State officials have confirmed that the preliminary inquiry has cost the state $11,542.10, as reported by Politico Florida. This is the second Florida investigation about Planned Parenthood's practices to turn up evidence of no wrongdoing with respect to fetal tissue. Earlier this year, the Scott administration was called out for “scrubbing” a press release and lodging patently false accusations against Planned Parenthood. As reported by Politico Florida: “Emails between the governor’s office and AHCA...show the agency prepared a press release that same day noting that ‘there is no evidence of the mishandling of fetal remains at any of the 16 clinics we investigated across the state.’ Scott's office revised the release to exclude that sentence, an email sent by Scott’s communications director, Jackie Schutz, shows.”
Officials in eight other states (Washington, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri and South Dakota) have now cleared Planned Parenthood affiliates of all wrongdoing. In addition, seven states (Iowa, Delaware, Idaho, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Virginia, and Colorado) have declined to even investigate Planned Parenthood — finding nothing to substantiate claims of wrongdoing. This new admission of no wrongdoing comes after Alabama backed down on threats to block care at Planned Parenthood.
Following is a statement from Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“We’ve always said that these extremists’ claims would fall apart upon closer inspection, and that’s exactly what’s happening. Yet out-of-touch politicians continue to push these bogus allegations and jeopardize access to health care for some of the most vulnerable women, men and young people.
“In the past, blocking care at Planned Parenthood has had devastating consequences — in Indiana it led to an HIV epidemic, in Texas it led to tens of thousands of women not getting care. As politicians double down on targeting access to health care at Planned Parenthood, our focus will continue to be on serving our 2.7 million patients across the country who depend on our health centers for basic health care, no matter what.”
Anti-abortion politicians and extremists have called for investigations on fetal tissue donation based on heavily edited videos that have been discredited. In September, a team of forensic experts found that the videos “significantly distort and misrepresent” actual events. While fetal tissue research is important and critical for helping develop treatments and cures for serious diseases, Planned Parenthood affiliates in just two states (representing one percent of all Planned Parenthood health enters) are involved in fetal tissue donation for medical research. At both the federal and state level, news reports have confirmed that politicians are working in coordination with anti-abortion extremists behind the smear campaign, including officials in Texas and in Congress (read more here and here).
Investigations continue in a number of states, including many that have failed to uncover any wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood: Nebraska state investigators found no evidence of wrongdoing after inspections of Planned Parenthood clinics. In Kansas, an open records request from the Associated Press revealed that an ongoing investigation into Planned Parenthood’s practices is equally unfounded. In Ohio, local media reported that after close to two months of investigation, officials had yet to produce any evidence of wrongdoing.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With approximately 700 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433
December 04, 2015