Updated on August 4, 2015, at 5:54 p.m. ET
Planned Parenthood’s handling of fetal tissue for research is the subject of a fresh video released Tuesday by an anti-abortion group.
In the latest video, the fifth released by Irvine, California-based Center for Medical Progress, an official from Planned Parenthood discusses the procurement and cost of intact fetuses. The video, we should warn you, is graphic.
Planned Parenthood calls the videos a “smear campaign.” It says the footage is highly edited, misleading, and takes discussions out of context.
The Center for Medical Progress has faced two court orders that block the release of future videos, but those orders are limited to footage recorded at meetings of the National Abortion Federation and those dealing with a tissue procurement company. Fox News adds: “Tuesday’s release, purely reliant on video taken inside a Planned Parenthood clinic, would not seem to violate either order.”
The videos have been met with outrage from conservatives and those who oppose abortion rights, who have called on lawmakers to end federal funding for Planned Parenthood. In comments at the Southern Baptist Convention on Tuesday, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a leading Republican candidate for president, said he believed Planned Parenthood should lose federal funding. He added: “I’m not sure we need half a billion dollars for women’s health issues.”
A procedural vote on a measure to ban federal funds for Planned Parenthood failed in the Senate on Monday.
But the threat of defunding could be costly for the organization. As Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News reported this week:
According to the group’s most recent annual report, 41 percent of the $1.3 billion received by the national group and its affiliates came from government sources. Under a series of different laws including the Hyde amendment, none of the federal funds can be used for abortions, which accounted for 3 percent of services Planned Parenthood provides.
Yet even though abortion is a small part of what Planned Parenthood does, the group’s enormous size makes it the nation’s largest single provider of the procedure.
And, Rovner noted, the effort to defund Planned Parenthood isn’t new, either—even if there has been a “fairly broad bipartisan consensus in favor of using tissue from aborted fetuses in research for many years.”
Still, despite hashtag activism from supporters of abortion rights, the outrage spawned by the videos are likely to keep Planned Parenthood’s funding in the spotlight for the time being.
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