Missouri Is Sixth in Growing List of States to Clear Planned Parenthood
WASHINGTON — Missouri state officials announced that they will not investigate Planned Parenthood in relation to extremist attacks about fetal tissue donation — adding to a growing number of states from across the country that have cleared Planned Parenthood affiliates of any wrongdoing or declined to investigate. This makes Missouri the sixth state to find that the allegations against Planned Parenthood are baseless — laying bare that the campaign launched by anti-abortion politicians and extremists to attack the essential health care Planned Parenthood affiliates provide is blatantly political. Seven other states have declined to investigate citing a lack of evidence of any wrongdoing.
Missouri joins Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and South Dakota in finding Planned Parenthood in compliance with state laws and regulations. Citing no evidence of wrongdoing, seven states — Colorado,Delaware,Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Virginia — have declined to investigate Planned Parenthood and politicians from across the nation have called the allegations baseless. In Kansas, an open records request from the Associated Press revealed that an ongoing investigation into Planned Parenthood’s practices is equally unfounded.
This announcement comes as patients and supporters rally around Planned Parenthood in nearly 300 volunteer-led events across the country and show the importance the health care nonprofit has played in their lives. On “National PINK OUT Day” supporters stand up against extreme politicians in Congress who are pushing a losing and increasingly discredited agenda to ban abortion and attack women’s access to health care.
Despite this announcement, the Missouri State Senate continues to convene an interim committee on the “Sanctity of Life,” a baseless political attack by extremist politicians to restrict access to safe and legal abortion, including pushing the University of Missouri to review Planned Parenthood contracts and admitting privileges. Planned Parenthood affiliates partner with universities and university health centers across the country to provide high-quality care and cutting-edge training to medical and nursing students.
Anti-abortion politicians and extremists have called for investigations on fetal tissue based on heavily edited videos that have been discredited. Last month, 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.
Following is a statement from Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“Planned Parenthood is the most trusted women’s health care provider in this country. We have the highest professional standards, and we take swift action if we are ever aware of an instance where those standards aren’t met. States across the country continue to find evidence of Planned Parenthood’s high standards and officials are finding these extremist attacks baseless.
“Extremists who oppose Planned Parenthood’s mission and services are making outrageous and completely false claims. They are engaged in a fraud, intended to deceive the public in order to advance an extreme political agenda. 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.
“Six states have now concluded investigations finding no wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood, and seven more have said they won’t launch investigations in the first place. We’ve always said that these extremists’ claims would fall apart upon closer inspection, and that’s exactly what’s happening. The more the public and various officials look into this, the more they’re seeing that Planned Parenthood has done nothing wrong.
“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.”
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
September 29, 2015