- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 29, 2015

It wasn’t exactly a surprise, but the White House gave a forceful defense of Planned Parenthood Wednesday and decried Republican lawmakers’ efforts to defund the organization in the wake of undercover videos revealing the sale of fetal tissue.

White House deputy press secretary Eric Schultz said he didn’t know whether President Obama has seen the videos because the president just returned Wednesday from a five-day trip to Africa.

But Mr. Schultz said White House officials are “familiar with the news reports, including that a lot of these videos have been edited.”

And he said the White House “couldn’t disagree more” with congressional Republicans who want to strip the organization of federal funding over the issue.

“We believe that Planned Parenthood provides a range of important preventive care in health services, things like screenings, vaccines and checkups to men, women and families across the country,” Mr. Schultz said. “Millions of men and women visit Planned Parenthood health centers annually. And we support them getting the types of services in health care they need.”

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, also defended his decision not to order an investigation of Planned Parenthood’s Virginia clinics.

“If I get one instance, one piece of evidence, one complaint, you bet we will investigate like you’ve never seen before,” he said during WTOP’s “Ask the Governor” program Wednesday. “But without any evidence and no complaints, I just don’t think I should send our state troopers and our SWAT team into these clinics.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, said the GOP plans to hold a vote on a measure to stop federal funding of the organization before the chamber adjourns for the summer on Aug. 7. But he blocked conservatives’ effort to attach the measure to a highway bill this week, saying he wants to await the results of a working group that is drafting language.

In the House, Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, has indicated that action on Planned Parenthood could come up in September.

The Center for Medical Progress, a watchdog group, released a third video this week depicting a technician at a biomedical company discussing payments to Planned Parenthood clinics for fetal organs after abortions.

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