At the request of Republican senators, the inspector general's office of the Department of Health and Human Services has launched a review of how federal officials oversee fetal tissue research — a subject in the spotlight since the release of undercover videos targeting Planned Parenthood.

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky says the audit will cover all fetal tissue research supported by HHS grants and will examine how the agency enforces compliance with federal laws.

The request was made in a letter from GOP senators in October, three months after the first of a series of undercover videos was released by anti-abortion activists. The activists contend that portions of the videos show Planned Parenthood officials negotiating the sale of fetal tissue in violation of federal law.

Planned Parenthood denies any wrongdoing,