Like many of you, I am appalled by recent videos that have come to light discussing how Planned Parenthood is selling organs and body parts of aborted babies for profit. This practice is illegal both federally and in the state of Minnesota.
That's why a coalition of sixty-five state legislators including myself sent a letter to Governor Mark Dayton and Lt. Governor Tina Smith (the former Vice President of External Affairs for Planned Parenthood of MN, ND and SD) on July 20, asking them to launch a state investigation into Minnesota's Planned Parenthood, ensuring that they are not participating in this illegal and immoral practice. Unfortunately, our calls were rejected by the governor who called us "grandstanding" for wanting to take action on this issue.
The full letter reads as follows:
Planned Parenthood Federation of America came under scrutiny last week after an undercover video showed Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood's senior director of medical services, detailing how some of their affiliates are performing abortions in a manner that keeps the baby’s heart, lungs and liver intact. Nucatola also discussed how much money some organizations would be willing to pay local chapters for the harvested organs.
We hope you, as governor, share our desire to make sure this abhorrent and illegal practice is not occurring in Minnesota.
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner announced July 15 that he will launch an investigation into whether Planned Parenthood is selling body parts for profit, which is against federal law. While we support this investigation on the federal level, a similar investigation should be conducted here in Minnesota.
Planned Parenthood operates eighteen clinics in Minnesota with two that provide abortion services (Rochester and St. Paul). We respectfully ask you to use the power of your office and any appropriate state agency to investigate the following issues:
Minnesota Statutes 145.422 prohibits the buying or selling of “a living human conceptus or nonrenewable organ of the body.” Planned Parenthood’s clinics should be examined to make sure this practice is not occurring in Minnesota.
Federal law prohibits the practice of partial birth abortion, a method of late-term abortion that ends a pregnancy and results in the death and intact removal of a fetus from the uterus. In light of Dr. Nucatola’s admission that Planned Parenthood affiliates are performing abortions in a manner that keep the baby’s organs intact, Planned Parenthood’s Minnesota locations should be examined to determine whether this illegal practice is happening here.
Research universities have been identified as potential buyers for organs and body parts harvested from aborted babies. As the state’s leading research institution, the University of Minnesota should collaborate with state officials to make sure they are not buying or receiving organs harvested from abortions.
As legislators, we hope none of these practices are occurring here in Minnesota. However, hope is not sufficient in this instance. The people of Minnesota deserve a thorough and transparent account of Planned Parenthood’s operations.
Please consider working with us in the future on legislation that protects women and children in Minnesota through stronger oversight of this intrusive medical procedure.
We ask that you use the full powers of your administration to look into these matters immediately and report back to the legislature and the public with the results.
Planned Parenthood receives taxpayer dollars for their family planning services, and it is an entirely reasonable request to investigate this issue. I would like to encourage you to also contact the Governor to ask him to launch an investigation at 651-201-3400 or mn.gov/governor. I will continue to advocate for the state to look into this organization because Minnesotans deserve answers.
As always, please feel free to contact me about any state legislative issue. You can e-mail at Rep.Marion.ONeill@House.MN or call my office at 651-296-5063. You can also write a letter to me. My office address at the Capitol is 549 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, St. Paul, MN 55155.