House Republicans have launched a congressional investigation into Planned Parenthood over an undercover video in which an official describes how the organization gives fetal tissue to researchers. Selling fetal parts for a profit is illegal. However, the senior director of medical services tells pro-life activists from the Center for Medical Progress—who were impersonating biotechnology reps—that Planned Parenthood clinics may charge $30 to $100 for a fetal sample to make up for the costs of processing and transporting. "This video is abhorrent and rips at the heart," Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee say, per the Washington Post, adding they will "get to the bottom of this appalling situation." The investigation will focus on claims that the organization "altered abortion procedures in order to harvest the organs and body parts of aborted children for money," per MSNBC.
The Republican governors of Texas and Louisiana have also ordered state investigations. "When an organization monetizes an unborn child—and with the cavalier attitude portrayed in this horrific video—we must all act," says John Boehner. A Planned Parenthood rep says Republicans' claims are "flat out untrue, but that doesn't matter to politicians with a longstanding political agenda to ban abortion and defund Planned Parenthood." The director of medical ethics at NYU tells the New York Times the most concerning part of the video is the mention of manipulating a fetus to save particular organs for researchers or middlemen, who can sell two million fetal liver cells sells for $2,240. "You cannot, must not, alter how or when you do an abortion simply to obtain tissues you want," he says. While he says an investigation is warranted, "I'd like to see it done by independent experts, not by 15 presidential candidates in Congress." (Read more Planned Parenthood stories.)