Attorney General Maura Healey says her office has found no evidence that the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts is operating the sort of fetal tissue donation program highlighted in a series of undercover videos released by a national anti-abortion group in recent weeks.
Healey’s office conducted the review at the request of state Representative James J. Lyons Jr., an Andover Republican who cited a Center for Medical Progress video that showed a Planned Parenthood official discussing how the group provides fetal parts to medical researchers over lunch at a Los Angeles restaurant.
Planned Parenthood has accused the center of heavily editing the videos as part of a smear campaign. The organization maintains its donation program is legal and that it does not profit from the sale of body parts.
Lyons’ letter asked Healey to look into whether any Planned Parenthood “affiliates in Massachusetts may have violated the law.”
“Over the past week, my office has conducted a thorough review and found that Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts’ health care centers are fully compliant with state and federal laws regarding the disposition of fetal tissue,” Healey said in a statement. “Although donation of fetal tissue is permissible under state and federal law, PPLM does not have a tissue donation program. There is no evidence that PPLM is involved in any way in the buying or selling of tissue. As such, our review is complete.”
Healey also voiced strong support for the organization. “I will fight to support Planned Parenthood and preserve the essential health services that they provide to so many women,” she said, in her statement. “I urge everyone who cares about these issues to do the same.”
Tricia Wadja, director of public affairs for the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, said in a statement that the group appreciates Healey’s “diligence in this matter” and called claims that Planned Parenthood profits from fetal tissue donation “false and outrageous.”
Lyons, who was on the floor of the House of Representatives Wednesday afternoon as lawmakers considered overrides of Governor Charlie Baker’s budget vetoes, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.David Scharfenberg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @dscharfGlobe