WASHINGTON (CNN) — Planned Parenthood’s president on Sunday lambasted “militant anti-abortion activists” who have released secretly-recorded videos of the organization’s officials discussing the alleged sale of fetal tissue.
Sen. Rand Paul, meanwhile, said he plans to push for legislation that would cut off the non-profit organization from receiving federal health care dollars.
“There’s no reason for Planned Parenthood to get any federal money, and basically the things they are doing are unacceptable to a vast majority of people — pro-life or pro-choice,” said Paul, a Kentucky Republican who is seeking the GOP’s 2016 presidential nomination, on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday.
The controversy erupted after the release of videos that show Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of aborted fetal tissue.
Republicans have seized on the videos, with two congressional panels launching investigations. Democrats have rushed to the organization’s defense.
Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood’s president, said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday that the organization “has broken no laws.”
She said the doctors in the videos have been reprimanded, but added that fetal tissue can be donated for medical research and criticized what she called “a three-year effort to entrap doctors.”
“They’re using these very highly edited videos, sensationalized videos, to try to impugn and smear the name of Planned Parenthood,” Richards said, referring to anti-abortion activists.
“These activists, these militant anti-abortion activists…do nothing to improve the health and safety of women,” she added. “And if they had their way, women could no longer come to Planned Parenthood for birth control services, for breast cancer screenings, for cervical cancer screenings or any other health care.”
Paul, though, said he wants to stop government funding from programs like Medicaid — which accounts for about 40% of the funding for Planned Parenthood, which provides low-cost and free reproductive care — from flowing to the organization.
“Whether it’s against the law or not, my goodness, I think everybody in America is horrified by this, and they don’t want their tax dollars going to this group,” Paul said.