The head of Planned Parenthood told Congress Tuesday she is “proud” of the organization’s work supporting fetal tissue research and said secretly recorded videos of employees discussing the practice are part of a “smear campaign.”
In her first appearance before Congress since the release of the videos, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said the videos were heavily edited and criticized Republicans for not investigating the anti-abortion activists who released the recordings, which she called “fraud.”
“The sensationalistic atmosphere the doctored videos seek to create is exactly the opposite of the reasoned and deliberate process President Reagan set in motion with the Human Fetal Tissue Transplantation Research Panel,” Richards told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. “The videos mislead rather than inform the public debate.”
The videos, obtained by David Daleiden who falsely posed as an executive interested interested in purchasing fetal tissue for medical research, show Planned Parenthood employees discussing the sale of tissue from aborted fetuses.
Republicans both in Congress and on the presidential campaign trail have condemned Planned Parenthood for the recordings, and some have called for shutting down the government unless federal funding for the group is eliminated.
This article originally appeared on NBCNews.com.