Attorney General Chris Koster released a report today concluding his office’s investigation into Planned Parenthood, according to a news release from the MO AG's office.
The office launched its investigation following the July 2015 release of videos raising questions about Planned Parenthood’s practices in other states regarding the alleged unlawful sale of fetal tissue.
Koster’s investigation examined in detail the tissue-handling practices of Planned Parenthood’s Missouri surgical facility and concluded there was no evidence that the facility engaged in unlawful activity.
According to the release, the investigation focused on Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri (PPSLR), the only abortion facility currently licensed in Missouri to perform surgical abortions.
As part of its investigation, the office conducted multiple interviews with representatives from PPSLR and the pathology laboratory that examines fetal tissue for PPSLR as required by Missouri law. The office also reviewed thousands of pages of documents to inform its findings.
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, according to the release.
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.
According to the release, 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 evidence reviewed by my investigators supports Planned Parenthood’s representation that fetal tissue is handled in accordance with Missouri law,” Koster said. “We have discovered no evidence whatsoever to suggest that Planned Parenthood’s St. Louis facility is selling fetal tissue.”