Several Republican presidential candidates are criticizing Planned Parenthood after viewing a controversial new video circulated on Tuesday by an undercover group anti-abortion activists.
The video seemingly shows a member of the anti-abortion Center for Medical Progress claiming to be a start-up biotech firm attempting to buy human fetal tissue for medical research. Federal law allows for the donating of tissue for research with the woman’s consent, but attempting to buy human fetal tissue is illegal in the United States.
Planned Parenthood dismissed the video, calling it highly edited.
“At several of our health centers, we help patients who want to donate tissue for scientific research, and we do this just like every other high-quality health care provider does – with full, appropriate consent from patients and under the highest ethical and legal standards,” said Eric Ferrero, vice president of communications for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, in a statement.
GOP presidential candidates quickly condemned Planned Parenthood on Tuesday and Wednesday morning.
“This is a shocking and horrific reminder that we must do so much more to foster a culture of life in America,” tweeted Jeb Bush, who is Catholic and a long-time advocate for pro-life issues.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal announced an investigation into Louisiana’s Planned Parenthood after seeing it. The social conservative also requested that the FBI assist the Louisiana Department of Health ad Hospitals with the investigation.
“Today’s video of a Planned Parenthood official discussing the systematic harvesting and trafficking of human body parts is shocking and gruesome,” Jindal said. This same organization is seeking to open an abortion clinic in New Orleans.”
Fiorina, the only pro-life woman running for president, called the video tragic and outrageous.
“This isn’t about ‘choice.’ It’s about profiting on the death of the unborn while telling women it’s about empowerment,” she said.
In an email to CNN, Dr. Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, called the video ‘shocking’ and Planned Parenthood’s behavior ‘sordid.’
“Planned Parenthood and their enablers must be stopped from these barbaric practices. I am urging Congress to eliminate every last dime of funding for Planned Parenthood,” he said. “Finally, I ask where is the Department of Justice on this clear violation of Federal law?”
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee also tweeted his condemnation of the purported video, saying, “I have pledged to defund #PlannedParenthood! Stand with me.”
Gov. Rick Perry tweeted out a statement saying the video proves that Planned Parenthood profits off “the tragedy of destroyed human life.”
“The video showing a Planned Parenthood employee selling the body parts of aborted children is a disturbing reminder of the organization’s penchant for profiting off the tragedy of a destroyed human life,” he said. “It is because of stories like this that I signed legislation defunding Planned Parenthood in the state of Texas – to protect human life and the health and safety of Texans.”
Former Sen. Rick Santorum tweeted that his lack of support for Planned Parenthood has been consistent.
“Always have been and always will be in favor of defunding @PPact & their destruction and now exploitation of human life,” he tweeted.
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to reflect that the Center for Medical Progress that circulated the video is not the same as the center of the same name associated with the Manhattan Institute.