Planned Parenthood VP calls defunding efforts 'political games'

Story highlights

  • Laguens' comments come one day after a vote to defund Planned Parenthood failed in the Senate
  • The issue has been a rallying call for Republican presidential contenders

Washington (CNN)Planned Parenthood's vice president on Tuesday slammed efforts to defund the women's health organization as "political games" that are "intended to score political points."

"What we're seeing here are attacks on people's ability to get health care. We're seeing attacks that are intended, in their end analysis, to get rid of safe, legal abortion in this country and destroy Planned Parenthood, who stands up for the reproductive health rights and freedom of women and all people in this country," Dawn Laguens told Alisyn Camerota on CNN's "New Day."
Laguens' comments come one day after a vote to defund Planned Parenthood failed in the Senate. The organization has been under fire from Republicans and some Democrats after The Center for Medical Progress, an anti-abortion group, released a series of videos it says show the nonprofit group is making money off the sale of fetal tissue, which Planned Parenthood denies.
    David Daleiden, the head of The Center for Medical Progress, also told Camerota on Tuesday that the vote in the Senate shows "there's certainly already a bipartisan majority that is ready to have an immediate moratorium on Planned Parenthood's taxpayer funding directly as a result of the exposure of Planned Parenthood's illegal use of partial birth abortions to harvest higher quality fetal organs for resale."
    Laguens claimed the videos were heavily edited.
    "They move around, tape one in front of the other, so that you're not clear if she's even talking about fetal tissues," she said, adding, "they cut out nine or 10 times where she absolutely, clearly says this is not about profit" but is "a small program where women can choose to make this donation" and that "it is only allowable to be reimbursed at cost."
    StemExpress, a California-based company that provides organs and tissue to researchers, backs Laguens' claim that they do not get paid for the fetal tissue.
    But Daleiden, who vowed last week to release up to 10 more Planned Parenthood videos, told Camerota that it's "really cute that they have their story straight and that they're covering up for each other."
    Last week, a California court issued a restraining order preventing The Center for Medical Progress from releasing a video with StemExpress executives.
    The controversy surrounding Planned Parenthood has become a rallying call for Republican presidential contenders, and Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton has called the videos "disturbing."
    Later Tuesday morning, The Center for Medical Progress released a fifth video that claims to show a Planned Parenthood official discussing the sale of fetal tissue.