The Big Conversation
Gov. Greg Abbott is launching an investigation over the video released Tuesday that shows a Planned Parenthood executive talking about how aborted fetus organs can be used for medical research.
The undercover video drew quick responses from Texas Republicans, although Planned Parenthood called it a "heavily edited, secretly recorded videotape that falsely portrays" the group's work.
The Tribune's Edgar Walters has more on Abbott's actions:
"The video of a high-level Planned Parenthood executive discussing the details of internal abortion procedures — including harvesting of baby body parts — is unnerving and appalling,” Abbott said in a statement. “In light of the video, I have directed the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to conduct an immediate investigation of this alleged practice in addition to a separate investigation ordered by the Texas Office of the Attorney General.”
The video, filmed by a group called the Center for Medical Progress, portrays Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood’s senior director of medical research, discussing how to “crush” a fetus in a way that keeps its internal organs intact. ...
Planned Parenthood clinics, with a patient’s permission, may sometimes donate fetal tissue for use in stem-cell research, a spokesman for the national group said in a statement Tuesday.
Abbott's predecessor, Rick Perry, called the video a "disturbing reminder of the organization’s penchant for profiting off the tragedy of a destroyed human life" and highlighted his defunding of Planned Parenthood in Texas. And Perry's 2016 rival, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, called on Congress to investigate Planned Parenthood and its "sale and transfer of aborted body parts."
Disclosure: Planned Parenthood was a corporate sponsor of The Texas Tribune in 2011. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.
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The Day Ahead
• The July semiannual campaign finance reports are due to the Texas Ethics Commission
Rick Perry's Plan to Kill Obama's Iran Deal, Bloomberg View
Ted Cruz gets personal with medical research funding, The Dallas Morning News
Poll: Trump leads GOP field; Cruz in 4th and Perry trailing, The Dallas Morning News
State Guard to monitor Jade Helm from Austin, San Antonio Express-News
Fort Worth billionaire Sid Bass invests in Blue Bell Creameries, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
With El Chapo’s escape, experts fear more bloodshed along Texas-Mexico border, The Dallas Morning News
Members of Congress say release of detained mothers and children not enough, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Quote to Note
"Sen. Cruz stands by everything he has written in his book."
— Catherine Frazier, a spokeswoman for U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, disputing comments from Cruz's colleagues that some of the anecdotes in his book are inaccurate
Today in TribTalk
The 2015 Texas Senate, from left to right, by Mark P. Jones — Who had the most conservative voting record in the Texas Senate this year? The most liberal? A new analysis looks at the evidence.
Trib Events for the Calendar
• The Texas Tribune Festival on Oct. 16-18 at the University of Texas at Austin