Attorney General Chris Koster says his office’s investigation into Planned Parenthood found no evidence of state laws being broken. The office launched its investigation following the release in July of undercover videos alleging Planned Parenthood has illegally profited from the sale of fetal tissue.
“The evidence reviewed by my investigators supports Planned Parenthood’s representation that fetal tissue is handled in accordance with Missouri law,” Koster said. “We have discovered no evidence whatsoever to suggest that Planned Parenthood’s St. Louis facility is selling fetal tissue.”
Koster’s investigation reviewed the tissue-handling practices of Planned Parenthood’s Missouri surgical facility. The investigation focused on Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri (PPSLR), the only abortion clinic currently licensed in Missouri to perform surgical abortions. As part of its investigation, the Attorney General’s office said multiple interviews were completed with representatives from PPSLR and the pathology laboratory that examines fetal tissue for PPSLR as required by Missouri law.
Koster said his office also reviewed thousands of documents related to the investigation, and reviewed how fetal tissue was disposed of in a 30-day period, tracing the chain of custody from surgical procedure to incineration. The documents showed that after a procedure is complete the tissue is put into a leakproof, specially marked container and taken to the pathology lab for examination. When the lab completes its work, a waste-disposal company takes the tissue to the incinerator and destroys it. The Attorney General says documents his office obtained—including itemized invoices from the pathology lab charging Planned Parenthood for examination of tissue from each procedure and a certification from the disposal company verifying that the material has, in fact, been destroyed—confirm each step of this process.
The Attorney General’s office says the investigation examined documents from all 317 abortions that took place during the audited period, tracing each procedure from Planned Parenthood to the incinerator.
Since the release of those videos, the state House and Senate each launched committees to investigated Planned Parenthood’s operations in Missouri. Senator Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia), who chairs the Senate committee, told Missourinet his committee still has questions to answer and called the Attorney General’s investigation “incomplete.”
One of the issues the Senate Committee planned to explore in future hearings is how fetal tissue is handled after an abortion. Schaefer says there is also a question raised by the Planned Parenthood representative in the first undercover video referring to St. Louis as an “untapped” for fetal tissue.
To view the Attorney General’s full report, click here.