Jindal orders investigation into Planned Parenthood claims
BATON ROUGE - Governor Bobby Jindal announced Tuesday he was directing state health officials to investigate claims Planned Parenthood was selling fetal body parts harvested after abortions.
That claim was made by a pro-life advocacy group called the Center for Medical Progress, which posted a hidden camera video on YouTube which appeared to show a meeting with Planned Parenthood Senior Director Deborah Nucatola. The video, dated July 2014, claims to show Nucatola describing the possibility of obtaining aborted fetus organs to actors hired by CMP to pose as organ buyers.
Planned Parenthood called the eight-minute video a "heavily edited" attempt by a group whose sole purpose is to damage the organization's reputation. They said the practice Nucatola was describing was tissue donation for medical research, which they derive no profits from and follow all ethical practices.
"Similar false accusations have been put forth by opponents of abortion services for decades. These groups have been widely discredited and their claims fall apart on closer examination, just as they do in this case," said Eric Ferrero, Vice President of Communications for Planned Parenthood.
Jindal seized the chance Tuesday to put a hold on Planned Parenthood's license applications for a new clinic in New Orleans. Planned Parenthood began construction on the $4 million facility in March and applied for a license to perform abortions there, which drew challenges from the Archdiocese of New Orleans and regulatory roadblocks from lawmakers.
"I have instructed Louisiana's Department of Health and Hospitals to conduct an immediate investigation into this alleged evil and illegal activity and to not issue any licenses until this investigation is complete. I am also asking the FBI to assist DHH in investigating this alleged criminal activity by this organization," Jindal said.
A DHH spokesperson said they are "actively monitoring the facts and allegations" and will ask Planned Parenthood to provide them with information to ensure they're in compliance with state and federal laws. DHH said Planned Parenthood is not authorized to perform abortions in the state, and their facility is not at the stage of development where they need to apply for one.