Anti-abortion activists step up attacks on Planned Parenthood

Anti-abortion activists are stepping up their attacks on Planned Parenthood following the release of a third covertly recorded video of Planned Parenthood officials.

The heavily-edited video shows officials discussing procedures for obtaining tissue from aborted fetuses for research and showing stark close-ups of what it said was fetal tissue in a Planned Parenthood lab.

An anti-abortion rally was held in Fort Worth on Tuesday.

About 100 people attended, demanding for an investigation of Planned Parenthood.

The new revelation about Planned Parenthood has helped us all really rally to the cause that we would like to see this stopped,” said anti-abortion activist Susan Hulet.

In the crowd were two abortion rights supporters.

“I've supported Planned Parenthood and abortion rights for years and yet again, people against abortion rights have released blatantly edited and misleading videos,” said Adam Davies.

Rallies were also held in other cities, including Houston and Austin

There are more rallies planned for Aug. 18.

The Senate will vote before its August recess on a Republican effort to block federal aid to Planned Parenthood, GOP leaders said Tuesday, as anti-abortion groups clamored for action by lawmakers. Democrats said they will strongly oppose what they called the latest Republican effort to weaken women's health care programs, but stopped short of flatly predicting its defeat.

The positioning came as an anti-abortion group released the third covertly recorded video.

The unveiling of the videos has put Planned Parenthood and many Democrats on the defensive, though there is little sign that they won't be able to head off the GOP effort.

"Good luck," Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said of the uphill Republican drive to garner the 60 of 100 Senate votes they will need to cut off Planned Parenthood's money. "We're dealing with the health of American women, and they're dealing with some right-wing crazy."

There are a total of 54 Republicans in the Senate, mostly opposed to abortion, and just a handful of anti-abortion Democrats. One of them, Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., said in a brief interview that he would not support the effort to end government help for Planned Parenthood because "they provide all kinds of primary health care" for women and because of the prohibition against using federal funds for virtually any abortions.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said a group of senators led by Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, were crafting a measure responding to "these horrendous videos." He said the Senate would vote "on a measure that they support sometime before we break for the August recess," scheduled to begin after next week. Senators said the group also includes Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and James Lankford, R-Okla.

Other senators said the GOP bill might transfer Planned Parenthood's federal funds to other organizations, such as federally backed community health centers, which provide health care to millions of lower-income Americans from coast to coast but not abortions. Republicans were hoping that might encourage Democrats to vote to pull money away from Planned Parenthood, which even some abortion-rights Democrats have avoided defending since the videos were released.

Planned Parenthood has said it has done nothing illegal or improper. It receives more than $500 million annually in government aid, including some state funds. Federal funds cannot be used for abortions except for pregnancies involving rape, incest or where the mother's life is in danger.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.