In light of recently released videos featuring Planned Parenthood officers discussing the sale of aborted fetal parts, one Western New York member of Congress is supporting the suspension of federal funds to the organization. But in a Monday conference call, Tom Reed suggested Planned Parenthood can take steps to avoid that.
Congressman Tom Reed, whose district covers the Southern Tier from Lake Erie all the way east to Ithaca and juts north into the Finger Lakes, expressed his support last week for the call by Republican leaders to suspend federal funding to Planned Parenthood. In a Monday conference call with reporters, Reed expressed his belief that halting that funding might even encourage Planned Parenthood to do its own investigation and, if they determine officers are indeed taking part in the sale of aborted fetal parts, dismiss those involved.
"I don't think anyone would object to us making sure that an investigation is thoroughly completed, of the entire organization," Reed said. "And if there's any laws being offended, that there be penalties imposed to make sure that the appalling practice not be honored or furthered in any way."
Critics claim the videos in question are edited strategically. Reed was asked about those claims.
"I've seen the videos that have been readily available out there. They're quite lengthy. I'm not exactly sure what editing the organization is referring to," Reed said. "Clearly, you have conversations and evidence that is being put forth where there is dealing in fetus tissue after the abortion is completed."
WBFO reached out to Planned Parenthood of Central & Western New York for comment. CEO Karen Nelson, according to her office, was unavailable for an interview but the following written statement was forwarded via email:
“Defunding Planned Parenthood would mean cutting access to basic reproductive health care services including lifesaving cancer screenings, birth control, STD testing and treatment, well-woman exams as well as health education for the 30,000 women, men and young people who rely on our services each year across Central and Western New York. “Our health centers are located in urban, suburban and rural neighborhoods and are an integral component of New York’s health care safety net and key to community health. Per the Guttmacher Institute, although Planned Parenthood health centers nationally comprise 10 percent of all publicly funded family planning centers, we serve 36 percent of all clients who obtain care from the family planning health center network. “Similarly, the Guttmacher Institute reports that Planned Parenthood health centers serve a disproportionate share of clients in the Title X system: we comprise 13 percent of Title X clinics but serve 37 percent of clients. “We are here for our patients, no matter what. For those who rely on us, the care we provide isn’t about politics – it’s about their well-being, and we remain focused on ensuring our patients are able to access the health care we provide in a safe and caring environment.” Reed, in his conference call, suggested Planned Parenthood could do a lot to help its cause and keep its funding alive. "I would hope that they work with us hand-in-hand so that those necessary services they're providing - for women's health care as well as sexual assault victims - can continue when we get this investigation completed, so that there's no question that this not occurring within Planned Parenthood as we move forward," Reed said.