05:27 GMT29 May 2020
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    Barack Obama will not back the Republicans' effort to defund abortion provider Planned Parenthood, White House spokesperson Josh Earnest said.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — President Barack Obama opposes the effort led by Republican lawmakers to defund abortion provider Planned Parenthood amid the release of secretly recorded videos showing the organizations' senior officials selling aborted fetuses’ body parts, White House spokesperson Josh Earnest said during a press briefing on Thursday.

    "I can tell you that on balance, the President would not be supportive of any congressional effort,” Earnest said when asked whether Obama would veto such a bill. “It's apparent that Republicans are just getting started in that effort, but that is an effort that we oppose."

    Earlier in the week a group of Senate Republicans introduced legislation that would cut government funding to Planned Parenthood after medical watchdog Center for Medical Progress released three videos showing senior Planned Parenthood officials discussing sales of baby body organs and aborted fetuses.

    As early as next week, the US Senate is expected to vote on the legislation that would prevent federal funds from going to Planned Parenthood and its subsidiaries, and redirect the funds to other hospitals and community health centers.

    In 2013, Planned Parenthood received 45 percent of its funding from the US government through $540 million in grants, according to the organization’s 2012-2013 annual report.

    Earnest explained that the White House was aware of the Republican efforts to “try to play some politics with some selectively edited videos.”

    Earlier on Thursday, the Center for Medical Progress released a fourth video showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing how to circumvent US law to sell organs of aborted babies.

    The organization’s president, David Daleiden, announced last week they have nine more videos to release detailing fetal tissue and organ harvesting by Planned Parenthood.

    According to US law, the sale or purchase of human fetal tissue and organs is a felony and is punishable by up to ten years in prison.


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