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Hundreds protest, pray at St. Paul's Planned Parenthood

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Hundreds gathered in prayer and protest outside of St. Paul's Planned Parenthood Clinic Saturday.

Pro-Life Action Ministries Executive Director Brian Gibson tells the Pioneer Press about 4,500 people attended. But St. Paul police estimate the crowd was less than 1,000, according to the Star Tribune.

The demonstration was one of hundreds held across the nation Saturday to protest federal funding for the organization, after undercover video was released showing Planned Parenthood officials talking about selling fetal tissue for research, WCCO reports.

Similar protests happened in Fargo and Moorhead. Inform News reports 240 people stood outside the Moorhead location, which was closed. The Fargo location had about 50 people.

Amy Jacobson, the Planned Parenthood advocacy manager for North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota, tells the newspaper, “Those who oppose Planned Parenthood’s mission and services are making outrageous and completely false claims. They are engaged in a fraud intended to deceive the public and other claims they’ve made have been disproven and discredited.”

CEO Sara Stoesz of the same three-state region tells the Pioneer Press that the local Planned Parenthood chapter does not have a fetal tissue donation program.

The Department of Health and Human Services did not find violations of fetal tissue laws after an investigation, according to Media Matters. The organization notes the videos were "deceptively edited."

Protests were also held a few weeks ago after the videos were released.

A group of 35 Republican lawmakers in Minnesota also asked Gov. Mark Dayton to launch an investigation into the practices at Planned Parenthood clinics in Minnesota, but he rejected that request.

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