While secretly recorded Planned Parenthood videos have ignited debate over whether fetal tissue from abortions should be used for research, clinics in Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire say they don’t donate fetal tissue for that purpose despite it being legal to do so.

But the Maine Right to Life Committee, which opposes legalized abortion, is calling for an investigation into northern New England Planned Parenthoods anyway after the release of videos showing Planned Parenthood officials in other states discussing fetal tissue donation, which have gone viral over the past two weeks. The committee wants the LePage administration to conduct the investigation.

“This is a watershed moment for Big Abortion,” Teresa McCann-Tumidajski, executive director of Maine Right to Life, said Thursday. “The video shows a blatant disregard and a callousness toward the unborn child.”

As part of the fallout from the videos, Republicans in Congress have introduced a bill to strip federal funding from Planned Parenthood, which gets more than $500 million of its $1.3 billion annual budget from federal and state programs. Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, a moderate, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that she opposes the bill because it “would cause millions of women to lose access to the health care provider of their choice.” The Senate is expected to vote on the measure early next week.

Collins also said the videos have raised questions about whether some Planned Parenthood affiliates are selling fetal tissue, and that “an investigation is warranted.”

“Planned Parenthood certainly should not be in the business of selling fetal tissue and organs,” she said. “To the best of my knowledge, none of the clinics operated by Planned Parenthood of Northern New England engages in this practice.”

The videos show Planned Parenthood officials talking in graphic detail with anti-abortion activists who were posing as representatives of a research firm. A Planned Parenthood doctor referred to different techniques for aborting fetuses and which of these methods would best preserve vital organs for research. Pro-life advocates criticized the casual tone Planned Parenthood officials used during the discussions.

Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards has apologized for the “tone” of the recorded discussions, but steadfastly supported the use of fetal tissue for research.

“The inflammatory and misleading videos have pushed this issue into the national spotlight,” Richards wrote in an open letter.

The Planned Parenthood website was taken down Thursday afternoon after being subjected to an attack by hackers, the organization said.

Richards is calling for a federal panel to review procedures governing how fetal tissue is donated for research. Currently, it can’t be done without the mother’s consent.

McCann-Tumidajski said Maine Right to Life will ask the LePage administration to investigate whether Planned Parenthood of Northern New England distributes fetal tissue for research.

Nicole Clegg, vice president of public policy for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, said Thursday that its clinics do not donate tissue from aborted fetuses. The Planned Parenthood clinics that do – in fewer than five states according to the group – can charge a fee to recoup costs. In the video, Planned Parenthood officials say the fees can range from $30 to $100 per specimen.

It’s illegal under federal law to profit from the sale of fetal tissue for research.

Clegg pointed to the benefits of using fetal tissue for research, and how it was instrumental in developing the polio vaccine in the 1950s and the rubella vaccine in the 1960s. It’s also been used for research on Parkinson’s disease and diabetes.

“Women and families who make the decision to donate fetal tissue for lifesaving scientific research should be honored, not attacked and demeaned,” Clegg said.

Scientists have conducted fetal tissue research since the 1930s, and the National Institutes of Health spent $76 million on human fetal tissue research in 2014.

The Senate Republican bill would end federal support for Planned Parenthood and instead distribute the money to community health centers, state and local agencies and other providers that do not perform abortions. President Obama has signaled his opposition to the bill.

Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton told the New Hampshire Union Leader this week that the videos were “disturbing,” but also said Planned Parenthood “for more than a century has done a lot of really good work for women.”

Similar medical ethics debates have arisen over discarded stem cells used in fertility treatments. Former President George W. Bush instituted restrictions on the use of stem cells, since loosened by President Obama.

Fetal tissue for research has been in less demand in recent years because stem cells and other research methods have reduced the need for fetal tissue, according to news reports.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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