White House press secretary Josh Earnest said he is not aware whether President Barack Obama has seen the Planned Parenthood video released earlier this week.
"I haven’t spoken to the president about this particular issue. I will acknowledge that I have not seen the particular video," Earnest said.
"I did read the news reports indicating that the policies that are followed by Planned Parenthood are entirely consistent with the strictest ethical guidelines established in the health care industry," Earnest said. "But for those kind of details, I’d obviously refer you to Planned Parenthood."
Pressed on whether the administration opposes the harvesting of fetal body parts, Earnest referred questions to Planned Parenthood.
"There are medical ethicists that have taken a close look at this and Planned Parenthood, I understand, has said they follow those ethical guidelines, in fact the highest ethical guidelines," Earnest said. "For their compliance with them and what exactly that means, I’d obviously refer you to them. I don’t have intimate detail or knowledge of the practices that they engage in."
White House press secretary Josh Earnest pauses as he answers questions about the government's Ebola response during his daily news briefing at the White House in Washington, Friday, Oct. 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
The Center for Medical Progress, a medical ethics and anti-abortion group, did the undercover video of a Planned Parenthood senior director talking about the sale of body parts of aborted unborn babies.
Planned Parenthood has since apologized for the "tone" of its official in the video, but decried the "heavily-edited" film and said "the allegation that Planned Parenthood profits in any way from tissue donation is not true.”
Planned Parenthood has been a significant political ally for Obama, endorsing him in past elections. The president has spoken to the organization in the past, and the Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards briefly took leave from the organization in 2012 to work full time for the Obama re-election campaign.
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