MOORHEAD – Local residents upset by allegations that Planned Parenthood clinics in the United States have sold fetal tissue to medical researchers protested Saturday morning outside of the Planned Parenthood Clinic in Moorhead and a Planned Parenthood office in Fargo.

The protest in Moorhead drew more than 240 people, including seniors and children. The clinic and office were both closed Saturday.

“We’re one of of over 350 groups that’s coming out here to raise awareness about the fact that Planned Parenthood is selling fetal body parts, such as brains, livers, hearts, arms, legs,” said Sally Casey of Glyndon, Minn., one of the protest organizers. She said the group also wants to help support women who are pregnant to dissuade them from choosing abortion.

Planned Parenthood does not offer abortions in Fargo or Moorhead nor does it offer fetal tissue donation services.

Amy Jacobson, Planned Parenthood North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota advocacy manager, said the protests outside the clinic and office are misguided and meant to intimidate patients.

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“They take misinformation and pump it out to the public and now they’re standing outside of clinics and education offices to try to really confuse the public as to what is really happening,”  Jacobson said.

“Those who oppose Planned Parenthood’s mission and services are making outrageous and completely false claims,” Jacobson added. “They are engaged in a fraud intended to deceive the public and other claims they’ve made have been disproven and discredited.”

The allegations came to light when pro-life activists secretly recorded Planned Parenthood officials allegedly partaking in selling fetal tissue. The organization said in a statement posted on its website that the videos were heavily edited and falsely portray the organization’s participation in tissue donation programs.

A smaller protest took place in Fargo, which drew about 50 people, outside of a Planned Parenthood office at 624 Main Ave. The protests were part of a larger national protest. Casey said she doesn’t know if there are more protests planned in the Fargo-Moorhead area.