The number two House Democrat said Tuesday that he does not believe Planned Parenthood is harvesting fetal tissue, despite a second undercover video showing an official from the nonprofit organization haggling over the sale of body parts.
"I don't accept the premise that Planned Parenthood is harvesting anything," House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., told reporters at a weekly roundtable discussion. "I reject the premise that Planned Parenthood is harvesting fetal body parts."
Hoyer said he has not seen either of the tapes, which were filed by the watchdog group Center for Medical Progress. The videos show top Planned Parenthood officials discussing pricing for the sale of fetal tissue recovered during abortions performed at their clinics.
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In the video released Tuesday, Dr. Mary Gatter, a former president of the Planned Parenthood Medical Directors' Council and now a leader in the organization, talks about selling intact fetal tissue for $100 and at one point tells the undercover activist, "I want a Lamborghini."
Hoyer said he will "be interested to see," what upcoming House hearings reveal about the two incidents. But he defended the organization, which gets a significant amount of its funding from federal grants subsidized by taxpayers.
Some Republicans are now pushing legislation that would end federal funding of Planned Parenthood. Hoyer said he opposes the move, pointing out that the organization provides "very, very important services," for women aside from abortion.
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Planned Parenthood describes itself as an organization that "delivers vital reproductive healthcare, sex education and information to millions of women, men and young people worldwide."