Planned Parenthood, a non-governmental organization that receives federal money, is the largest abortion provider in United States. Conservative critics, many of whom seek to outlaw abortion in the United States, have accused Planned Parenthood of selling fetal organs and body parts for profit, and encouraging women to have abortions in order to expand such operations.
Debate exploded earlier in 2015, when anti-abortion activists released edited footage from hours of recordings have accused the officials of discussing a change of protocol to preserve intact certain organs, which would be illegal. The organization strongly denied these allegations.
Seeking to douse a months-long scandal over providing fetal tissue for research, women's health care giant Planned Parenthood reported that it will no longer accept reimbursements for costs of the donations. The move is aimed at debunking what the group calls a 'disingenuous argument' by critics attacking Planned Parenthood over the procedure.
Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards told the director of the National Institutes of Health in a letter, "Over the last two months, opponents of safe and legal abortion have turned patently false claims about our role in fetal tissue donation into fodder to advance their extreme political agenda. Today, we're taking their smokescreen away."
Richards said, "Each of the group's health centers involved in donating tissue after an abortion for medical research will adopt a policy of accepting no reimbursement for its reasonable expenses. All of our health centers will follow the same policy, even if it means they will not recover reimbursements permitted under the law."
Reacting to news of the end of reimbursements, congresswoman Marsha Blackburn said, "It's about time the group recognized the need to end this disgusting practice."