Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia called an undercover video showing Planned Parenthood's national medical director discussing the harvesting of tissue from aborted fetuses "very troubling," "extremely troubling," "highly troubling," and something that "ought to be looked at."
"Oh yeah, no, the reports of it, very troubling, absolutely," Kaine told radio host John Fredericks this week on his radio program.
Over the past two weeks, multiple undercover videos of Planned Parenthood officials discussing the harvesting of tissue from aborted fetuses have resulted in calls for reviews of both Planned Parenthood from Republicans. Democrats have similarly called for reviews of the organization behind the video.
Kaine cited what he said were laws against the sale of fetal tissue and noted he found reports about the videos "extremely troubling." Kaine cautioned, however, that there was a history of group's deceptively editing videos of Planned Parenthood for a political agenda. In this instance, the anti-abortion group behind the video, the Center for Medical Progress, released both edited and unedited versions of the videos in question.
Planned Parenthood has said the video misrepresents their participation in tissue donation programs and scientists told BuzzFeed News last week they found research with fetal tissue ethical but were uncomfortable with tone of Planned Parenthood officials in the videos.
"And so, look, there are laws against sale of fetal tissue," stated Kaine. "This is the kind of thing that is extremely troubling. The only cautionary note that I would throw into the mix here, is that there has been some prehistory of people going into Planned Parenthood offices, and taping interchanges, and then editing them favorably to make a point. And in fact, the reason I know this is one of these happened in Richmond a couple of years ago where somebody went and tried to tape an interchange with a Planned Parenthood staffer and kind of edited it to make it seem pretty scurrilous. You've got to get the full facts if this video was, as is, or, whether there's been some nefarious editing to it".
"But certainly, kind of a discussion about sale of fetal tissue issue in that way post-abortion would be highly troubling and it ought to be looked at," he added.
Kaine noted multiple investigations were already underway because of the video.
"You have my commitment that it will be gotten to the bottom of. I know that there's a lot of organization. The House has started an investigation of it. I don't know if the Senate has, but the Senate might. And I also understand that there's investigations at state levels about this. So there are multiple efforts already underway to dig into it."
Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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