The controversy surrounding Planned Parenthood’s harvesting and distribution of organs and tissue from aborted fetuses has reached the Lone Star State.
Newly released clandestine video by the Center for Medical Progress shows staff at a Houston clinic discussing the relationship between altering abortion procedures to obtain the most intact organs and their associated costs.
The fifth video appeared a day after the U.S. Senate failed to pass a measure to end Planned Parenthood’s more than $500-million in annual federal funding. Pro-life lawmakers nevertheless vowed to propose defunding Planned Parenthood via other federal spending packages this fall.
Texas’ Catholic Bishops have expressed “deep concern and moral disgust” at the revelations in the Center for Medical Progress videos.
“The cavalier attitude displayed by Planned Parenthood executives in haggling over the sale of these infants exposes a sustained pattern of exploitation and a heart-rending disregard for innocent human life,” the Bishops said in ajoint statement. “Planned Parenthood claims that these atrocities are permissible under federal law, but the mere notion that this is an acceptable practice indicates the immoral depths to which segments of our society continue to fall.”
In the new video, Melissa Farrell, director of research for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast in Houston discusses "diversification of the revenue stream" through different forms of abortion practices. "If we alter our process and we are able to obtain intact fetal cadavers, then we can make it part of the budget, that any dissections are this, and splitting the specimens into different shipments is this. I mean, it’s all just a matter of line items," she said.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott reaffirmed the state’s ongoing investigation of Planned Parenthood’s operations, “The State of Texas is aggressively investigating this matter and must use all available legal remedies to address this depraved conduct." He added, "The latest video showing Planned Parenthood’s treatment of unborn children in a Houston clinic is repulsive and unconscionable.”
UPDATE:On Wednesday, August 5, 2015, the office of Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson launched a criminal investigation into Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast of Houston. "I’m anticipating right now … putting two very senior prosecutors on this," she said. According to Anderson, the Texas Rangers and the Houston Police Department have also agreed to join the investigating team.