Nebraska Officials Investigate the State’s Planned Parenthood Locations

A sign is pictured at the entrance to a Planned Parenthood building in New York August 31, 2015. Picture taken August 31, 2015. (PHOTO CREDIT: Reuters/Lucas Jackson
A sign is pictured at the entrance to a Planned Parenthood building in New York August 31, 2015. Picture taken August 31, 2015. (PHOTO CREDIT: Reuters/Lucas Jackson

The release of videos from a group that accused Planned Parenthood of illegally selling fetal tissue prompted congressional inquiries and state investigations across the country this summer.

But in Nebraska, where the governor and attorney general both identify as pro-life, there was nothing of the sort — at least not in news releases.

For three and a half days in August, at the request of Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts, surveyors with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services combed through records and interviewed staff during simultaneous, surprise visits at Planned Parenthood of the Heartland’s Lincoln and Omaha clinics.

The surveyors were particularly interested in speaking with staff who handle fetal tissue, Omaha clinic director Brenda Hervey said: “They wanted to make sure they talked to those people.”

And at the end, Hervey said, she met with the lead surveyor and discussed the team’s findings.

“She was convinced that we were not doing anything improper or illegal with our fetal tissue,” Hervey said.

Late Monday, an HHS spokeswoman said she could provide little detail on the inspections, but confirmed that regulators made a similar visit to the Bellevue clinic operated by Dr. LeRoy Carhart.

The inspections weren’t publicly announced by HHS before or after they took place, but the results appear similar to those of public investigations of Planned Parenthood clinics elsewhere.

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SOURCE: Zach Pluhacek
Lincoln Journal Star