The conservative witch hunt against Planned Parenthood has backfired in spectacular fashion: Instead of finding evidence that the organization was engaged in illegal activity, every single state investigation has come up empty, clearing Planned Parenthood of all wrongdoing.
The investigations began after the Center for Medical Progress, an extreme anti-abortion group, released a series of videos which they claimed were “proof of Planned Parenthood’s illegal trafficking of aborted fetal parts.” Of course, that’s not what the footage actually shows. In reality, the illegally recorded videos show Planned Parenthood representatives discussing their participation in the legal donation of fetal tissue for research purposes.
Despite being discredited almost immediately after their release, these videos have been used by conservatives to justify costly investigations of the organization in states across the country. Republican lawmakers also exploited the videos to launch yet another failed attempt to ban Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funds for services unrelated to abortion.
However, this carefully constructed house-of-cards attack against Planned Parenthood seems to be falling apart, as every probe into the women’s health organization has ended up clearing them of any wrongdoing.
This week, representatives from Georgia and South Dakota announced that their investigations into Planned Parenthood have found that the organization is in full compliance with all state laws and regulations. Similar investigations in Florida, Indiana, and Massachusetts have also found no evidence of wrongdoing.
“In every state where these investigations have concluded, officials have cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing,” Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, told the Huffington Post on Friday. “We’ve said all along that Planned Parenthood follows all laws and has very high medical standards, and that’s what every one of these investigations has found. This campaign by anti-abortion extremists is nothing less than a fraud, intended to deceive the public with patently false claims in order to pursue an extreme political agenda.”
As the Huffington Post points out, “probes in other states, like Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas, are unlikely to reveal evidence of illegal tissue donation practices, since those states’ Planned Parenthood centers either don’t participate in a tissue donation program, don’t even have a center actively performing abortions in the state or are barred by state law from donating tissues in the first place.”