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HHS Pushes Back On States Defunding Planned Parenthood Over Videos

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AP Photo / Stacie Freudenberg

State officials told the Journal that they were allowed to end the contracts. Although courts have sided with Planned Parenthood in past legal battles over Medicaid funding, anti-abortion activists countered to the Journal that in this case, states are blocking the funding over criminal activity, which is permitted by the 2011 memo.

Backers of the "sting" videos -- which a group going by the name 'Center for Medical Progress' began releasing last month -- say they show that Planned Parenthood is illegally profiting from the donation of aborted fetus tissue to researchers. The reproductive health organization argues the videos are heavily edited and the only fees charged for the tissues are to reimburse the extra procurement costs, as allowed by the law.

Eleven states have opened investigations into Planned Parenthood's operations (two of which have already closed their investigations after finding no evidence of wrong doing), as have national lawmakers, who are currently weighing defunding Planned Parenthood on a national level.

In addition to Louisiana (where the Planned Parenthood clinics do not offer abortion) and Alabama, New Hampshire has also sought to block Planned Parenthood's Medicaid funds, according to The Journal.