Sen. Susan Collins strongly supports Title X funding for family planning and the work that Planned Parenthood does to provide medical services, cancer screenings and family planning assistance for millions of women.

But to be clear, she believes that the troubling videos recently released about the sale of fetal organs and tissue by certain Planned Parenthood affiliates raise legal and ethical questions and should be investigated by the Department of Justice.

No medical provider should profit from such sales. Sen. Collins would support defunding any Planned Parenthood affiliate that receives compensation for those practices. No Planned Parenthood affiliate in Maine engages in such practices, and it is reported that only seven affiliates nationally do so.

Likely because of pressure the organization is feeling after the release of a series of unsettling videos, some partisans and activists have conflated Sen. Collins’ support for a failed procedural motion in the Senate last week as tantamount to her endorsing an effort to completely eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood.

They are wrong.

Generally, such an obscure procedural vote would receive little attention. But in these turbulent times, it has become commonplace to hype issues in an attempt to gain political advantage, regardless of the accuracy of the claim.

Mike Tipping’s Aug. 8 column (“Maine’s Sen. Collins took an extreme position on Planned Parenthood funding”) is an example of such tactics.

Tipping’s misinformed charges are ironic, because Sen. Collins recently supported an amendment in the Appropriations Committee to increase funding for family planning services. And she stated explicitly on the Senate floor that she would oppose the bill to completely eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

If you want more information on Sen. Collins’ position, I would encourage you to go to her website (www. collins.senate.gov) and view the remarks that she gave on the Senate floor on this very issue.

Alleigh Marré

communications director for U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine

Washington, D.C.