WASHINGTON (CNN) — Several Republican presidential candidates are criticizing Planned Parenthood after viewing a controversial new video circulated on Tuesday by an undercover group anti-abortion activists.
The video seemingly shows a member of the conservative Center for Medical Progress claiming to be a start-up biotech firm attempting to buy human fetal tissue for medical research. Federal law allows for the donating of tissue for research with the woman’s consent, but attempting to buy human fetal tissue is illegal in the United States.
Planned Parenthood dismissed the video, calling it highly edited.
“At several of our health centers, we help patients who want to donate tissue for scientific research, and we do this just like every other high-quality health care provider does — with full, appropriate consent from patients and under the highest ethical and legal standards,” said Eric Ferrero, vice president of communications for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, in a statement.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal announced an investigation into Louisiana’s Planned Parenthood after seeing it. The social conservative also requested that the FBI assist the Louisiana Department of Health ad Hospitals with the investigation.
“Today’s video of a Planned Parenthood official discussing the systematic harvesting and trafficking of human body parts is shocking and gruesome,” Jindal said. This same organization is seeking to open an abortion clinic in New Orleans.”
Fiorina, the only pro-life woman running for president, called the video tragic and outrageous.
“This isn’t about ‘choice.’ It’s about profiting on the death of the unborn while telling women it’s about empowerment,” she said.
In an email to CNN, Dr. Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, called the video ‘shocking’ and Planned Parenthood’s behavior ‘sordid.’
“Planned Parenthood and their enablers must be stopped from these barbaric practices. I am urging Congress to eliminate every last dime of funding for Planned Parenthood,” he said. “Finally, I ask where is the Department of Justice on this clear violation of Federal law?”
Jindal, Fiorina and Carson all hope to curry favor with GOP conservatives as they scramble for support in the 2016 GOP presidential nomination race.
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to reflect that the Center for Medical Progress that circulated the video is not the same as the center of the same name associated with the Manhattan Institute.
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