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AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — An anti-abortion group released its fifth undercover video alleging fetal organ sales that activists say was shot inside a Houston Planned Parenthood clinic.
Now, TX Lt. Governor Dan Patrick wants the Harris County DA to “Immediately open a criminal investigation of Planned Parenthood in Texas,” according to a statement released by Patrick Wednesday morning.
The Center for Medical Progress’ footage shows people pretending to be from a company that procures fetal tissue for research touring the Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast clinic. What they’re shown includes recently collected fetuses.
“A fifth undercover video has been released by the Center for Medical Progress discussing the gruesome and barbaric work of Planned Parenthood and what appears to be it’s profiteering from selling body parts from aborted babies. In this video, taped at the Houston Planned Parenthood Center, the Gulf Coast Director of Research, Melissa Farrell, discusses selling entire aborted fetuses for profit,” said Patrick.
“Her quote, ‘If we alter our process, and we are able to obtain intact fetal cadavers, then we can make it part of the budget.’ As a result, this morning I am asking Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson to immediately initiate a criminal investigation of Planned Parenthood,” he continued.
Patrick said Planned Parenthood was invited to testify at a hearing in front of the Texas Senate Health and Human Services Committee but they did not accept that invitation.
“This newest video makes it clear it is time for prosecutors to launch a criminal investigation in Harris County immediately,” said Patrick.
Gov. Greg Abbott called the video “repulsive and unconscionable.”
Tuesday’s video is the fifth the center has recently released, but the first from Texas. It appears consistent with footage Planned Parenthood previously announced might have been secretly recorded.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is leading a state investigation of Planned Parenthood prompted by previous videos, and called the latest “simply appalling.”
Planned Parenthood has said that the videos do not show staff “engaged in any wrongdoing or agreeing to violate any legal or medical standards.”
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