Governor says "no basis" for a Planned Parenthood probe
ST. PAUL -- After hundreds of protesters showed up at this door to plead with him to investigate Minnesota's Planned Parenthood chapter, Gov. Mark Dayton reiterated his belief that there is "no basis" to do so.
ST. PAUL - After hundreds of protesters showed up at this door to plead with him to investigate Minnesota’s Planned Parenthood chapter, Gov. Mark Dayton reiterated his belief that there is “no basis” to do so.
“There’s not a shred of evidence to implicate Planned Parenthood Minnesota in what they were being accused of,” Dayton said Thursday. “I’m not going to call for an investigation.”
Anti-abortion activists were enraged after secretly recorded videos appeared to show a Planned Parenthood official discussing the sale of post-aborted fetal tissue.
Representatives of the national women’s health organization say that the videos were selectively edited and that representatives of the local Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota insist their chapter does not, and has not, participated in fetal tissue donations.
Minnesota anti-abortion activists say they doubt the local organization’s word.
But Dayton, who has long supported abortion rights and selected a former Planned Parenthood executive as his running mate, does not.
“There are some other states, and I don’t know all the details, where there have been more credible implications that those chapters of Planned Parenthood were involved in this tissue donation,” he said. “There is not a shred of evidence that Minnesota has. The leaders of Planned Parenthood have said emphatically that they have not been involved and are not involved in tissue donations so there’s just no basis for investigating when there is not evidence to support the accusation.”
Dayton said he appreciated that Wednesday’s protest in front of his official home was peaceful and handled in a responsible way with St. Paul authorities, who closed down the street in front of his house to vehicular traffic during the two-hour event.
“They certainly have a First Amendment right to be there,” Dayton said.
Before the protest, Dayton met with Summit Church pastor Joe Anderson, at Anderson’s request. Dayton and Anderson said they discussed Planned Parenthood and no minds were changed.
“I was very impressed with him personally and appreciated the respectful way in which he conducted the meeting,” Dayton said of Anderson. “He urged me to call for the investigation, and I declined for the same reasons I’ve given here.”