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Pro-Life activists rally with lawmakers

Sen. Will Kraus, R-Lee's Summit, speaks to pro-life activists in the Capitol rotunda Tuesday afternoon.

Lawmakers investigating Planned Parenthood told supporters on Tuesday afternoon they would continue to look into the organization's conduct.

Tuesday's rally on the eve of the annual veto session comes amid a spate of legislative hearings investigating videos that purport to show Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of parts from aborted fetuses. Planned Parenthood has said the videos, shot by the pro-life Center for Medical Progress, are heavily edited and taken out of context.

Several Republican lawmakers who sit on the investigative committees told the crowd of their disgust with the videos' content and with the practice of abortion. Rep. Diane Franklin, R-Camdenton, said she rejected the idea that lawmakers were on a witch hunt.

"We are on a hunt for the truth," she said, adding that she considered pro-life activists a "pro-woman" movement.

Jefferson City resident Kira Rutter, who attended the rally with her infant son, said she became involved in pro-life rallies after the videos were released. She said the question of whether the videos were doctored is irrelevant.

"Even if things have been cut off, nothing was added, and that's what would make the difference to me," she said.

Rep. Stacey Newman, D-St. Louis, attended an investigative hearing on Tuesday morning, before the rally. Newman said she was exasperated that lawmakers continue to investigate Planned Parenthood even after it has become apparent that no rules were broken in Missouri.

"What we know in Missouri is that we have no Planned Parenthood affiliates that actually allow for any tissue donation," she said. "There is nothing to investigate. This is what I consider a witch hunt."

A House committee investigating Planned Parenthood will hold another investigative hearing on Thursday morning.

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