Pelosi: McConnell Helped Legalize Funding For Fetal Tissue Research

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is defending Planned Parenthood’s controversial use of fetal tissue for research, which she adds was once backed by the Senate’s top Republican.

“When [legislation] was passed enabling research to go forward, I remind that Mitch McConnell voted for that,” she said at a news briefing Thursday in response to several questions about Planned Parenthood’s undercover video controversy. A fourth video, which includes graphic footage of the fetal parts used for research, was released about one hour before her comments.

Pelosi refers to legislation passed in 1993 that allowed federal funding to be used for medical research involving fetal tissue, under certain conditions.

Under the law, abortion providers can give fetal tissue to researchers as long as they do not profit in any way and they do not alter their procedures for the purpose of preserving the tissue.

The research is authorized “without regard to whether the tissue is obtained after a spontaneous or induced abortion or a stillbirth,” according to the law.

McConnell’s support for the bill has been highlighted by Planned Parenthood. The group has also pointed out that House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) — who is leading the congressional investigation into the Planned Parenthood videos — also voted in favor of the legislation.