Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said Tuesday the federal government should continue to fund Planned Parenthood, revealing she had not watched the covert videos showing top officials from the group discussing the sale of fetal tissue.
Gillibrand told The Blaze she had no intention of watching the series of videos.
“I think what Planned Parenthood does around the country is provide health care for millions of women who have no access to health care at all. And, only a very small part of their budget goes to abortion services,” she said. “97 percent of their budget is focused on basic health care.”
Her comments come amid a congressional battle over whether taxpayers should continue to fund the more than $500 million the organization receives annually.
Federal law bars Planned Parenthood from using federal grants for abortion services, but Republicans argue the Center for Medical Progress videos show problematic actions and have pushed to end taxpayer funding for the organization.
Planned Parenthood maintains the videos are “heavily edited,” denying the group has violated legal or medical standards.
Democrats have sided with the group, fighting against Republican efforts to strip federal grants.
“Anyone who wants to defund Planned Parenthood, wants to defund health care for women across the United States,” Gillibrand said. “If proponents of the videos believe laws have been broken, well then criminal justice should investigate.”
The Department of Justice is investigating the Center for Medical Progress to determine whether the group obtained the undercover footage legally. Congressional Republicans have vowed to probe Planned Parenthood officials further following the August recess.