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Health Highlights: Dec. 28, 2015

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Review of Federal Oversight of Fetal Tissue Research Launched

A review of how federal health officials regulate fetal tissue research has been launched by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The audit was requested by 35 Republican senators in October, after a series of undercover videos released by anti-abortion activists appeared to show Planned Parenthood officials negotiating the sale of fetal tissue, the Associated Press reported. Buying and selling fetal tissue is against federal law, according to the wire service.

Planned Parenthood has denied any wrongdoing, saying a few clinics in two states used to accept legally allowed reimbursement for the costs of providing fetal tissue donated by some of its clients. In October, Planned Parenthood announced that it would no longer accept reimbursements, the AP reported.

Republicans in Congress have since launched several investigations of Planned Parenthood, which receives federal funding, including an ongoing one by a House select committee, according to the wire service.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ken.), who initiated the request for the review, said last week that the audit would cover all fetal tissue research supported by HHS grants and would examine how the agency enforced compliance with relevant federal laws.

Planned Parenthood noted it had asked back in July that the U.S. National Institutes of Health create an expert panel to review the regulation and oversight of fetal tissue research, the AP reported.

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