Washington State Clears Planned Parenthood of Wrongdoing
A Washington state investigation into Planned Parenthood has found "no evidence" of wrongdoing on the part of the women's reproductive healthcare provider following allegations the organization was selling or profiting from fetal tissue donations.
Washington state joins a growing list of states where probes into Planned Parenthood have failed to turn up proof of any illegal activity. This announcement, however, is particularly meaningful because Washington is one of the only two states-the other being California-where the organization offers patients the option to donate fetal tissue for scientific research.
In July, citing several deceptive and surreptitiously-recorded videos by anti-abortion group the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), Washington state lawmakers sent two letters to Attorney General Bob Ferguson requesting an investigation into the healthcare provider's activities. The videos, which claim to document the illegal sale of fetal tissue by Planned Parenthood, have been debunked repeatedly.
Despite eight states' investigations coming up empty, right-wing lawmakers continue to target Planned Parenthood. Following the release of CMP's deceptively-edited "sting" videos, several congressional committees launched investigations into the organization. In September, House Republicans called Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Last month, House Republicans announced the formation of a select committee - this time under the jurisdiction of the Energy and Commerce Committee - in an effort to defund Planned Parenthood through budget reconciliation.
For now, Ferguson hopes his state's findings reveal the true motivations of Planned Parenthood's opponents. "Unfounded allegations against Planned Parenthood are troubling," said Washington State Attorney General Ferguson in a statement. "They seek to discredit the organization and divert resources away from patient services, making it more difficult for Washington women to exercise their constitutional rights."
Media Resources: Washington State Office of the Attorney General Press Release 11/16/15; Media Matters 8/24/15; Feminist Newswire 9/1/15, 9/29/15, 10/5/15