Leading Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton called the controversial undercover videos showing officials from Planned Parenthood discussing the sale of organs from aborted fetuses "disturbing" on Tuesday and said it raises questions about the process nationwide.
"I have seen pictures from them and I obviously find them disturbing," said Clinton in an interview with the New Hampshire Union Leader Tuesday.
Calls for the public defunding of Planned parenthood have come from several Republican presidential candidates while Planned Parenthood has tried to discredit the Center for Medical Progress which recorded a video describing it as a: "Heavily edited, secretly recorded videotape that falsely portrays Planned Parenthood's participation in tissue donation."
Planned Parenthood said in a statement that some women who have abortions choose to donate tissue for scientific research for free and there is also no financial benefit for the organization.
Despite finding the videos "disturbing," Clinton went on to highlight Planned Parenthood's long history of service to women and said she didn't think the organization was in any more trouble of losing funding than it was before the videos were released.
"Planned Parenthood is answering questions and will continue to answer questions. I think there are two points to make. One, Planned Parenthood for more than a century has done a lot of really good work for women: cancer screenings, family planning, all kinds of health services. And this raises not questions about Planned Parenthood so much as it raises questions about, you know, the whole process, that is, not just involving Planned Parenthood, but many institutions in our country. And if there's going to be any kind of congressional inquiry, it should look at everything and not just one part of it," said Clinton.
"There is no funding that, you know, would be any more at risk than it already has been for years because this has been an ongoing dispute, and I'm well aware that passions are very high. I have said for more than 22 years that abortion should be legal, safe and rare. And as first lady, I led an effort to try to lower the number of teenage pregnancies and we succeeded, and as President I will continue to work toward that so that women are fully empowered, they can afford to make responsible decisions, and I hope that we will be successful with that," she added.
Reacting to Clinton's comments in a statement to The Christian Post Wednesday, Lila Rose, president of Live Action, an anti-abortion organization, called them "refreshing" but also encouraged the presidential front-runner make a bigger statement by distancing herself from Planned Parenthood.
"It is refreshing to hear that Mrs. Clinton, unlike the Secretary of HHS, Sylvia Burwell, although she indicates she has seen only pictures from the CMP videos, finds them 'disturbing'. If pictures disturbed Mrs. Clinton, the full footage of the videos would outrage her. Every public official should see these videos given PP gets half a billion a year of tax dollars, 40 percent of their annual budget. They have a duty to do so or they are not doing their jobs as trusted public officials with oversight responsibilities," she said.
"Mrs. Clinton should take the next step and announce she will no longer accept any campaign contributions from Planned Parenthood, its affiliates or staffers. If Mrs. Clinton does not do this she will be forever tied to the most extreme, abusive taxpayer funded enterprise in the country — an enterprise that engages in partial birth abortion, and traffics and sells aborted baby body parts. It is hard to say you are for civil justice when you are defending and connected to an organization like Planned Parenthood," she added.