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Anti-abortion investigators' shocking revelation: U does research

Anti-abortion activists crowd Gov. Mark Dayton's block after an undercover video by the Center for Medical Progress references the existence of fetal tissue research in Minnesota.

Anti-abortion activists crowd Gov. Mark Dayton's block after an undercover video by the Center for Medical Progress references the existence of fetal tissue research in Minnesota.

As the campaign to defund Planned Parenthood raged in Congress, Minnesota’s anti-abortion camp sank its teeth into the women’s health nonprofit with rabid ferocity, determined to find the slimmest shred of evidence for the sale of aborted baby parts.

A group of 65 Republicans signed a letter begging Gov. Mark Dayton to investigate Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota in July, a request the governor basically scoffed at, since there's no evidence that anything actually happened. But a number of lawmakers are still surly, showing up at a 400-strong protest outside Dayton’s house in early September.

The source of their suspicion: an undercover video showing Perrin Larton, an official with tissue donation company Advanced Bioscience Resources, naming Minnesota as one of the states where ABR conducts business.

For many, that was proof enough of illicit activity, even after the local Planned Parenthood insisted it doesn’t even have a tissue donation program.

Now pro-life investigators at Alpha News have “discovered” public records showing that the University of Minnesota has purchased fetal pancreases, lungs, livers, and thymus from ABR since 2008. Turns out the U, a major research institution, actually researches fetal tissue. In fact, there are scientists at the university, like Dr. Michael Verneris, who are using it to reduce side effects for patients who have undergone chemotherapy or a bone marrow transplant. 

"What's misconstrued about the reports is that they've uncovered it or we've been caught," says U spokesman Evan Lapiska. "It's not against any sort of law that the research is going on. We are purchasing them, but it's not a purchase for profit scenario."

Scandalous.