Hundreds of demonstrators who rallied in front of Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton's home Wednesday called for a state investigation of Planned Parenthood and an end to state funding of the group.
The issue has been the subject of debate across the country since an anti-abortion group released secretly recorded videos in which Planned Parenthood directors discuss providing tissue from aborted fetuses for medical research.
While donating the tissue for research is legal, selling it for profit is not. Planned Parenthood says it does not sell fetal tissue.
Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota says it does not have a fetal tissue donation program at all, telling KSTP that leaves nothing to investigate in Minnesota. The Associated Press reports organizers of Wednesday's rally question that assertion.
This embed is invalid
Planned Parenthood has 18 clinics in Minnesota, providing health care services and contraception to 65,000 women, WCCO says. Two of the clinics – in St. Paul and Rochester – provide abortions.
Dayton rejected calls for a Planned Parenthood investigation this summer, saying: “As far as I’m concerned there’s no basis for an investigation at taxpayer expense into a private nonprofit organization that has stated they don’t engage in those practices here in Minnesota.”
The rally in front of his home occurred on a day when Republicans in Congress renewed their push for the federal government to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood.
USA Today reports Wednesday's hearing by the House Judiciary Committee was the first of several hearings expeected this fall.