Koster: No evidence of wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood

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JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster released the findings of his office's investigation into the Planned Parenthood Monday, concluding there is no evidence to suggest the organization is unlawfully selling aborted fetal tissue.

The office launched its investigation following the release of videos in July 2015 raising questions about how Planned Parenthood disposes of fetal tissue. 

The investigation focused on Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri (PPSLR), Missouri's only facility currently licensed to perform surgical abortions. 

The Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri President and CEO, Laura McQuade said they stand in support of their partner affiliate. 

"We are pleased the Attorney General's evidence can draw to a close any and all speculation about Planned Parenthood's policies and practices," said McQuade.

The attorney general's office said it reviewed official documents detailing the facility's process of disposing fetal tissue over a 30-day period, tracking each procedure step-by-step from Planned Parenthood to the incinerator. Officials determined the group's procedures for handling fetal tissue comply with Missouri law. 

Koster's office stated:

"As part of its review, the Attorney General's Office obtained documents for a representative 30-day period tracing the facility's process for the disposal of fetal tissue, tracking the chain of custody from surgical procedure to incineration. The documents showed that after a procedure is complete, the tissue is placed into a leakproof, specially marked container and transported to the pathology lab for examination. When the lab completes its work, a waste-disposal company collects the tissue, takes it to the incinerator, and destroys it. Documents obtained by the Attorney General's Office - including itemized invoices from the pathology lab charging Planned Parenthood for examination of tissue from each procedure and a certification from the disposal company verifying that the material has, in fact, been destroyed - confirm each step of this process. The investigation examined documents from all 317 separate abortions that occurred during the audited period, tracing each procedure from Planned Parenthood to the incinerator."

The full report is available on the attorney general's website.