Don’t cut Planned Parenthood

Daily Editorial Board

More than 500 protestors gathered outside of Gov. Mark Dayton’s house Wednesday in protest of Planned Parenthood. Under rallying cries such as, “Unborn lives matter,” the crowd demanded that Dayton investigate Planned Parenthood and that legislators defund the group. 
 
The organization came under fire this summer after the Center for Medical Progress, an anti-abortion organization, released videos purporting to show Planned Parenthood members discussing the sale of fetal tissue.
 
It’s true that the sale of fetal tissue is illegal. However, Planned Parenthood denies that it has ever broken this law. Although some of the organization’s local affiliates maintain fetal tissue donation programs, donation is legal under a law passed in 1993. 
 
Nevertheless, since the videos surfaced, Planned Parenthood clinics in Minnesota and across the country have faced intense challenges from anti-abortion activists. In response to recent events, the president of Planned Parenthood in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota reminded the public that the local affiliate has no program for donating fetal tissue. 
 
Reacting to last week’s protest on his doorstep, Dayton said that he sees no reason to investigate Planned Parenthood. 
 
We concur with the governor, and we feel that the accusations suggesting that Planned Parenthood sells fetal tissue are completely unwarranted. As a medical organization providing services that go far beyond abortion — including contraception, cancer screenings and STD treatment — we believe that Planned Parenthood has earned its government funding and that it would be a great loss if legislators chose to revoke or reduce it.