INDIANAPOLIS (July 16, 2015) – Gov. Mike Pence said the state will investigate Indiana Planned Parenthood facilities after an undercover video that surfaced this week sparked outrage.
"I think every Hoosier should be appalled at what has come forward (and) these allegations in this video," Pence said.
The video, posted by an anti-abortion group called the Center for Medical Progress, showed a Planned Parenthood official discussing the harvesting of fetal organs. The video, which surfaced this week, was recorded last year. In it Dr. Deborah Nucatola, senior director of medical services for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, discusses the demand for fetal organs and how to preserve them during abortions.
The group accused Planned Parenthood of profiting from the practice and violating medical ethics.
Planned Parenthood said the tissue is donated for scientific research. Any money received is used as reimbursement for expenses. The group said it does not make money from the practice.
"It’s been well established. It’s been going on for decades," IU Health Law Professor David Orentlicher said.
Orentlicher explained more about the practice to FOX59, saying it is being used less now that stem cell research is practiced, but it's still a widely-accepted research technique.
"It’s very valuable in research. Fetal tissue has been used to make vaccines," Orentlicher said.
Pence wants to investigate the group’s Indiana affiliate to see if the tissue is being sold for profit, though. He’s notified U.S. attorneys as well as county prosecutors in Marion, Monroe, Tippecanoe and Lake counties—counties in which Planned Parenthood performs abortions.
Pence said he’s directed the Indiana State Department of Health to investigate Indiana Planned Parenthood facilities in cooperation with the Indiana Attorney General’s Office.
Two versions of the video in question surfaced this week. One, which runs about eight minutes, is heavily edited and has nearly two million views. The second, which runs nearly three hours, has more than 94,000 views.