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Anti-abortion groups want probe of fetal tissue disposition in N.M.

Anti-abortion groups rallied outside the state Capitol today, calling for state and federal investigations into whether abortion providers are selling or otherwise improperly disposing of fetal tissue.

About 50 people attended the rally, carrying signs in opposition to abortion and Planned Parenthood. Speakers said authorities should determine whether what they called the “scandal of selling baby organs” is going on in New Mexico.

Planned Parenthood has come under fire nationally after the release of videos that showed its officials talking about providing fetal organs for research. The organization says it does not profit from the tissue donations and does nothing illegal.

Tara Shaver of the group Protest ABQ said she filed a complaint with the state attorney general last week asking whether an Albuquerque abortion clinic, Southwestern Women’s Options, is violating state law by having its patients sign a statement consenting to the use of fetal tissue in medical research. Shaver alleges that may not be legal under state law.

After the Capitol rally, some protesters headed to a Planned Parenthood clinic in Santa Fe to continue the protest.

Rev. Stephen Imbarrato of a group called Priests for Life said more such protests are scheduled, including one Wednesday at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Albuquerque at which he will say prayers of exorcism to “cast out the evil spirits” at the facility.