Planned Parenthood investigation necessary

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has opened an investigation into Planned Parenthood after the release of secretly recorded videos appearing to show the organization has engaged in selling body parts of unborn babies. Several other states are doing the same.

We are glad to see the Democratic AG, also a candidate for governor, has chosen to look into Planned Parenthood's practices. This has, unfortunately, become a partisan issue in the nation, with many pro-choice Democrats either silent or criticizing the Center for Medical Progress for capturing the video, and many pro-life Republicans sternly condemning Planned Parenthood and calling for its defunding.

As things stand, Planned Parenthood receives half-a-billion taxpayer dollars annually.

This, however, comes down to law and ethics. It is an issue that should unite all of us, rather than dividing us along party lines.

As Koster asserted, "Regardless of whether one is pro-life or pro-choice, the questions raised by these videos require careful review," adding, "My office will investigate whether the practices described have occurred within our state and whether Missouri law has been violated."

Planned Parenthood's response to the revelations has been a denial of illegal activity, which means it has not participated in partial birth abortions, has not altered its abortion technique to preserve body parts and has not sold body parts.

Because the videos released to the public suggest otherwise, it is important the investigation will be thorough.

Planned Parenthood's president, Cecile Richards, did apologize for the "tone" of the first video, in which Dr. Deborah Nucatola ate salad and sipped wine while discussing how to perform abortions in a manner that would keep the aborted baby parts "intact." That is the extent to which she will acknowledge wrongdoing.

It is interesting to note the oxymoron of Planned Parenthood's insistence life-saving research relies on its donations -- not sales -- of the "viable" livers, hearts and lungs of aborted babies, while simultaneously insisting a fetus is not a life.

Koster's investigation may go a long way to bringing answers to the allegations, but at the end of the day, the question people have asked for years is likely to be asked with even more fervor: Should taxpayer dollars be used to finance Planned Parenthood?