Missouri became the sixth state to investigate Planned Parenthood and find no wrongdoing — just as the organization's president prepares to testify before a House committee Tuesday for the first time since an anti-abortion group released secretly recorded videos accusing the group of illegally profiting from fetal tissue.
"As a result of our investigation, the Office of the Missouri Attorney General has found no evidence that that [Planned Parenthood] has engaged in unlawful disposal of fetal organs and tissue," a report concluded. Investigations in Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and South Dakota have cleared the group, as well, and a seventh has declined to even open investigations, citing lack of evidence.
According to Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richard's letter to Congress, only two affiliates of 59 are currently engaged in fetal tissue donation. It is legal for a woman to consent to have fetal tissue donated for medical research after an abortion. The provider may be reimbursed by third party procurers as long as there is no "valuable consideration" or profit involved. Planned Parenthood denies any wrongdoing, including allegations made in the videos, that it illegally altered abortion procedures to obtain better samples. Richard's letter said no methods were changed but that doctors had occasionally made small "adjustments."
Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri (PPSLR) is the only abortion provider in the state.
Investigators looked at how Planned Parenthood in the state disposes of fetal tissues after abortion, examining documents and conducting interviews, and found no irregularities.
On Tuesday, the same day of Richards' testimony, Planned Parenthood will rally supporters in what it calls National Pink Out Day, with rallies planned in more than 90 cities and a social media campaign using the hashtags #standwithPP and #pinkout.