Louisiana’s five abortion clinics became the target Wednesday of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s investigation into potential illegal sale of fetal body parts.
Presidential hopeful Jindal expanded an earlier probe into Louisiana Planned Parenthood current and future activities to encompass privately-operated abortion clinics in New Orleans, Metairie, Baton Rouge, Shreveport and Bossier City.
He also added state Inspector General Stephen Street to the investigation that he on Tuesday directed state Department of Health and Hospitals officials to conduct. He sought help from the FBI too.
Jindal’s directives came after an undercover video surfaced from an anti-abortion group that appeared to show a Planned Parenthood Federation of America official talking about the sale of fetal body parts.
PPFA officials said the video had been heavily edited and included “outrageous claims” that are “flat out untrue.” Some Planned Parenthood health centers help patients who want to donate tissue for scientific research which is legal, officials said.
Planned Parenthood does not perform abortions in Louisiana. It is constructing a health center in New Orleans and will apply for a license to operate an abortion clinic as part of it. The Louisiana affiliate is part of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast with facilities in Texas where abortions are done.
The governor’s office released a letter to Street which said in part,
“I urgently request you to initiate a joint investigation with DHH and the FBI to determine whether Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast is engaged in the illegal harvesting and trafficking of human body parts. Furthermore, Louisiana currently has five licensed out-patient abortion facilities. I request that you review the records and policies of these clinics with regards to the disposal of organs and tissues from aborted babies to determine if any of their practices violate Louisiana law and conditions of their receipt of public funds for non-abortion services.”
The letter also asked Street to determine any relationship the clinics have with StemExpress or any other company that “financially profits from harvesting and distributing aborted unborn baby body parts or is in the business of selling or donating the remains of unborn babies.”