Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards.Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) — Hillary Clinton has staunchly defended Planned Parenthood in the wake of recently released videos that an anti-abortion group claims to show employees with the organization discussing the sale of aborted fetal tissue.
But, in a new interview, she calls the graphic videos “disturbing” and says there should be a national investigation into that practice.
“I have seen pictures from them and obviously find them disturbing,” the Democratic presidential candidate told the New Hampshire Union Leader on Tuesday in regards to the videos, which were released by the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress. “Planned Parenthood is answering questions and will continue to answer questions.”
Clinton, however, did not waiver in her overall support of the organization, and said there are two points to make: “One, Planned Parenthood for more than a century has done a lot of really good work for women: cancer screenings, family planning, all kinds of health services. And this raises not questions about Planned Parenthood so much as it raises questions about the whole process, that is, not just involving Planned Parenthood, but many institutions in our country.”
Clinton added that if there’s going to be a congressional inquiry into the videos, “it should look at everything,” and not just one organization.
Clinton made the remark on the same day the Center for Medical Progress released a third video which it says shows the harvesting of fetal tissue, as well as current and former Planned Parenthood employees discussing the procedures and pricing.
Several Republicans — including many GOP presidential candidates — have cited these videos as a reason why Planned Parenthood should lose federal funding. And Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul has called for Clinton to return the group’s donations to her campaign.
In response to the claims of illegal behavior in the video, Planned Parenthood has asserted that all of its actions are legal as well as ethical.
In addition, the organization said the video was “heavily edited,” stating that “similar false accusations have been put forth by opponents of abortion services for decades.”
“Planned Parenthood has broken no laws,” Cecile Richards, the president of the non-profit, said on ABC News’ This Week. “We have the highest standards. The care and health care and safety of our patients is our most important priority.”
Clinton, who is pro-choice, vowed to defend Planned Parenthood over the weekend, even adding in a new line to her campaign stump speech.
“I will defend a woman’s right to choose,” Clinton said in Iowa and New Hampshire this week, “and I will defend Planned Parenthood.”
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