A Comprehensive Guide To The Deceptively Edited Videos Used Against Planned Parenthood

››› ››› RACHEL LARRIS

Since July 14, a previously unknown anti-choice group called the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) has released 11 videos containing undercover footage of discussions with Planned Parenthood personnel and staff members of private, for-profit biomedical procurement companies. The videos purport to show, and the accompanying press releases allege, that Planned Parenthood is illegally selling fetal tissue and altering abortion procedures in order to profit from the sale of fetal tissue. Scores of media outlets have reported that the combined footage shows no illegal behavior by, or on behalf of, Planned Parenthood, and that the words of Planned Parenthood personnel who were secretly filmed have been "grossly [taken] out of context."

First Video: Uses Deceptive Edits To Claim Planned Parenthood Is Illegally Selling Fetal Tissue

Second Video: Edited To Make Planned Parenthood Look Like It Is "Haggling Over Payments"

Third Video: Ex-StemExpress Employee Claims Planned Parenthood Profits From Fetal Tissue Sales

Fourth Video: Edited Video Implies Planned Parenthood Is Hiding Criminal Acts

Fifth Video: Edited To Make Planned Parenthood Official Appear To Agree To Alter Abortion Procedures For Profit

Sixth Video: Ex-StemExpress Employee Alleges Fetal Tissue Sometimes Collected Without Consent

Seventh Video: Ex-StemExpress Employee Discusses Tissue Procurement

Eighth Video: Features StemExpress CEO, Claims To Document "Sale Of Aborted Baby Parts"

Ninth Video: Planned Parenthood: "The Video Released... Is Not About Planned Parenthood"

10th Video: Four Planned Parenthood Officials Discuss Fetal Tissue Compliance And Stigma

11th Video: Attempts, And Fails, To Smear Texas Planned Parenthood Doctor

12th Video: Baselessly Suggest "Group Purchasing Program" To Sell Fetal Tissue For Profit

13th Video: Alleges Planned Parenthood Official Agreed To Alter Abortion Procedures To Increase Risk A Fetus Is "Born Alive" To Net A Profit

14th Video: Baselessly Attacked Planned Parenthood’s Patient Consent Process

Additional Videos Recycle Old Footage To Continue Smear Campaign

Independent Analysis Finds Evidence Of "Manipulation" In Undercover Videos

Media Have Roundly Called Out CMP For Accusing Planned Parenthood Of Illegal Acts, Which Videos Don't Show

Background On The Shady, Anti-Choice Group Behind The Deceptive Videos

Multiple Investigations Into Allegations Have Found No Illegal Activity By Planned Parenthood

Texas Grand Jury Indicts Two Members Of CMP

First Video: Uses Deceptive Edits To Claim Planned Parenthood Is Illegally Selling Fetal Tissue

Center For Medical Progress' First Deceptively Edited Video Claimed To Have Caught Planned Parenthood Selling "The Body Parts Of Aborted Fetuses." A video released July 14 by the Center for Medical Progress claims to show Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) Senior Director of Medical Services Dr. Deborah Nucatola discussing how PPFA "sells the body parts of aborted fetuses." But even the longer version of the video and the transcript released by CMP, which they claim is unedited and accurate, undermines their sensationalist claim, showing at least three crucial edits that reveal that Nucatola was actually discussing reimbursement costs for consensual, legal tissue donations. The CMP-released transcript includes remarks made by Nucatola not included in the shorter edited video explaining that "nobody should be selling tissue, that's just not the goal here." The shorter video cuts nearly eight minutes out in the middle of a conversation about money where Nucatola makes clear that PPFA only accepts payment to cover legal reimbursement costs for what she repeatedly characterized as "tissue donation" in the transcript. [Media Matters, 7/14/15]

Second Video: Edited To Make Planned Parenthood Look Like It Is "Haggling Over Payments"

Center For Medical Progress' Second Highly-Edited Video Attempted To Smear Planned Parenthood By Claiming To Have Caught Official "Haggling Over Payments" For "Baby Parts." In a video released July 21, the Center for Medical Progress claimed PPFA Medical Directors' Council President Mary Gatter is seen "haggling over" prices for fetal tissue donations and offering to change medical procedures "to get more intact body parts." However, even the longer video released by CMP which they claim is unedited shows that Gatter's statements were cherry-picked to give the impression of illegal activity that was not taking place. The deceptively cut shorter video shows Gatter seeming to admit that Planned Parenthood receives payment for fetal tissue donation "in spite of incurring no costs," while the longer version of the video shows Gatter was discussing the process of obtaining consent and sorting donations. In addition, CMP's press release says its edited video shows Gatter "suggest[ing] modifying abortion procedure to get more intact fetuses" while the longer video shows Gatter reiterating that she cannot modify procedure herself and that she would have to consult with a surgeon. [Media Matters, 7/21/15]

Third Video: Ex-StemExpress Employee Claims Planned Parenthood Profits From Fetal Tissue Sales

Center For Medical Progress' Third Video Falsely Alleges That Planned Parenthood Participates In "Black Market In Baby Parts." In a video released July 28 as part of their "Human Capital Project," the Center For Medical Progress claimed that Planned Parenthood is engaging in a "black market in baby parts" and using an "illicit pricing structure" to profit from fetal tissue donations. The video, which features documentary-style interviews with former StemExpress lab technician Holly O'Donnell, again failed to demonstrate illegal activity by Planned Parenthood. The highly-edited video, which is largely about a separate for-profit research tissue supply company, features the lab technician who admits PPFA only receives legal reimbursement for actual costs. The video also includes footage from the previously released videos that was also debunked as highly-edited and taken out of context. [Media Matters, 7/28/15]

Fourth Video: Edited Video Implies Planned Parenthood Is Hiding Criminal Acts

Fourth Video From CMP Deceptively Implies Planned Parenthood Official Is "Negotiating A Fetal Body Parts Deal." A July 30 video released by the Center for Medical Progress claimed that Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains Vice President and Medical Director Dr. Savita Ginde was "negotiating a fetal body parts deal, agreeing multiple times to illicit pricing per body part harvested." Like the other CMP videos, the fourth video was deceptively edited and does not show any evidence of illegal activity on the part of Planned Parenthood. The longer version of the video released by CMP reveals staff at a Colorado Planned Parenthood affiliate simply discussing legal reimbursement fees for donations from women. Both CMP's "actor" and Dr. Ginde state that compensation is based on reimbursement of "processing and time," as allowed under federal law. [Media Matters, 7/30/15]

Fifth Video: Edited To Make Planned Parenthood Official Appear To Agree To Alter Abortion Procedures For Profit

Fifth Undercover Video Smears Planned Parenthood With Deceptive Edits, Makes It Appear That Official Is Agreeing To Illegally Alter Procedure. A video released by CMP on August 4 claims to have caught Planned Parenthood of the Gulf Coast Director of Research Melissa Farrell "advertising the Texas Planned Parenthood branch's track record of fetal tissue sales." However, the transcript released by CMP shows that the organization was discussing reimbursement for costs associated with the consensual procurement of fetal tissue, which federal law allows. Heavy edits in the video make it appear that Farrell is agreeing to alter the procedure purely for tissue procurement, which could put patients at risk and would be illegal. The longer version of the video released by CMP has Farrell explaining that everything done "is there for the safety of the patient" and under "our standard process" and that the clinic would not alter or delay a procedure for the sake of fetal tissue donation, per Planned Parenthood and tissue donation guidelines. [Media Matters, 8/4/15]

Sixth Video: Ex-StemExpress Employee Alleges Fetal Tissue Sometimes Collected Without Consent

Sixth CMP Video Is "Documentary" Alleging That Planned Parenthood "Sold Baby Parts Without Patient Consent." The sixth video, released by CMP on August 12, is the second installment of their documentary-style "Human Capital Project." The video relies on the account of Holly O'Donnell, a third-party technician who never worked for Planned Parenthood. O'Donnell is a former blood and tissue procurement technician for StemExpress, a middleman company that sold fetal tissue donations to researchers. As with the other videos, the sixth video offers no evidence that Planned Parenthood broke any law. O'Donnell also admits that procurement technicians "had a consent form we'd have to initial" with the donor stating, "I know I'm not going to be reimbursed or compensated." [Media Matters, 8/12/15]

Seventh Video: Ex-StemExpress Employee Discusses Tissue Procurement

Seventh CMP Video Features Undercover Footage Of For-Profit Biomedical Procurement Companies. The seventh video released by CMP on August 19 -- the third in their documentary-style "Human Capital Project" -- again features interviews with former StemExpress employee Holly O'Donnell, whom CMP identifies as a former staff member of the for-profit biomedical procurement company. Two of the undercover interviews featured throughout the seventh video were with personnel at for-profit tissue procurement companies Novogenix Laboratories LLC and Advanced BioScience Resources. No one at either company implicates Planned Parenthood in illegal activities. The video also includes snippets of the deceptively edited, hidden camera conversations with Planned Parenthood officials from the first and second videos. [Media Matters, 8/19/15

Eighth Video: Features StemExpress CEO, Claims To Document "Sale Of Aborted Baby Parts"

Center For Medical Progress' Eighth Video Features StemExpress CEO, No Planned Parenthood Officials. On August 25, the Center for Medical Progress released an eighth undercover video alleging to document "the sale of aborted baby parts" -- this time, documenting a private conversation with for-profit fetal tissue procurement company StemExpress' CEO, Cate Dyer. Unlike previous CMP videos, no Planned Parenthood officials are seen on camera. [The Center for Medical Progress, 8/25/15]

Ninth Video: Planned Parenthood: "The Video Released...Is Not About Planned Parenthood."

Center for Medical Progress' Ninth Video Features Advanced Bioscience Resources Staffer Describing Fetal Tissue Procurement. On September 1, the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) released a ninth undercover video, much of which centers on a private conversation with fetal tissue procurement company Advanced BioScience Resources. CMP referred to the private company as a "Planned Parenthood baby parts vendor" that has "harvested and sold fetal body parts" for the health care provider "longer than any other entity." Planned Parenthood, responding to the CMP's video, said "The video released today is not about Planned Parenthood. Staff from two independent health care firms that work with medical providers and research institutions appear to discuss their policies and practices [...] Multiple times in this video, staff from independent health care firms appear to say that Planned Parenthood is not interested in any financial gain and adheres to ethical standards." [The Center for Medical Progress, 9/1/15; Politico, 9/1/15]

10th Video: Four Planned Parenthood Officials Discuss Fetal Tissue Compliance And Stigma

Tenth Video: Features PPFA Officials Discussing How Affiliates Navigate Contracts Involving Fetal Tissue. On September 15, CMP released a video in which it claims to have caught "Planned Parenthood executives discussing the organization's secretive practices around aborted fetal parts harvesting." CMP's press release says that one of the participants secretly caught on camera, Vanessa Cullins, vice president for external affairs for Planned Parenthood, "seems fully aware of the criminal exposure" of the donation of fetal tissue. However, the longer version of the same encounter released by CMP reveals the the context of Cullins' remarks, and proves they weren't about violations of the law, but the stigma surrounding abortion and stem cell research. [RH Realitycheck, 9/15/15]

11th Video: Attempts, And Fails, To Smear Texas Planned Parenthood Doctor

11th Video: CMP Claims Footage Showed Texas Planned Parenthood Doctor Discussing Illegal Abortion Procedures For "Harvesting Intact Fetal Heads" And "Affirm[ing]" A Price. On October 27, CMP released a video it falsely claimed showed a Planned Parenthood clinic doctor discussing how she might conduct illegal abortion procedures for "harvesting intact fetal heads" and affirming a price for the specimens. But experts say the procedures she described are legal, the footage actually reveals that the doctor specifically said she does not do fetal tissue donations at her clinic, and the undercover actors are the only ones who discuss procedure costs. [Media Matters,10/28/15]

12th Video: Baselessly Suggest National Abortion Federation Has A "Group Purchasing Program" To Sell Fetal Tissue For Profit

CMP Releases 12th Video, Claiming National Abortion Federation Officials Worked With Planned Parenthood Through A "Group Purchasing Program" For Illegal Fetal Tissue Donation. In its 12th video, CMP selectively edited footage of National Abortion Federation (NAF) employees to suggest wrongdoing by the organization and its partner, Planned Parenthood. The video features cherry-picked parts of secretly filmed conversations between a CMP actor and two NAF training and education representatives, Sandy Fulkerson and Jennifer Hart, to baselessly allege that NAF was encouraging a "group purchasing program" for the sale of fetal tissue. CMP omitted necessary context from the conversations to suggest that Fulkerson and Hart agreed to "a kickback arrangement to split the money from fetal parts." The full context, however, reveals that neither NAF employee filmed ever expressed interest in an illegal payment plan for fetal tissue. Instead, Fulkerson and Hart were interested in helping clinics donate tissue "for science" or "to be used in research." [Media Matters 2/18/16]

13th Video: Alleges Planned Parenthood Official Agreed To Alter Abortion Procedures To Increase Risk A Fetus Is "Born Alive" To Net A Profit 

CMP's 13th Video Alleges Planned Parenthood Officials Agreed To Alter Abortion Procedures To Make A Profit And That Those Alterations Increase Risk A Fetus Is "Born Alive." The night before the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt -- the legal challenge to a highly restrictive Texas abortion law -- CMP released its 13th deceptively edited video. In this latest video, CMP selectively edited footage of Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties medical director Jennefer Russo to make baseless claims that Planned Parenthood manipulates abortion procedures in illegal ways. For example, CMP cherry-picked parts of a conversation with Russo about forgoing the use of digoxin -- a drug commonly used in abortion procedures -- and manipulating fetal positions to "breech" to suggest Planned Parenthood was attempting to yield more "intact specimens" and secure greater compensation. CMP additionally argued that such changes in procedure are similar to so-called "partial birth abortion" procedures and that they increase the chances of a fetus being "born alive." [Media Matters, 3/2/16]

14th Video: Baselssly Attacked Planned Parenthood's Patentient Consent Process And Shows Symbiotic Relationship Between CMP And Anti-Choice Lawmakers

CMP’s 14th Video Baselessly Attacked Planned Parenthood’s Patient Consent Process. The 14th CMP video used decontextualized footage from the Select Panel on Infant Lives’ first hearing to allege that Planned Parenthood’s consent form -- given to women when they are considering donating fetal tissue -- is misleading because it states that donated tissue has contributed to curing various diseases. In this video, CMP selectively framed a portion of testimony from a medical researcher, Dr. Lawrence Goldstein, to suggest he believed the consent form was “inappropriate.” In reality, Goldstein highlighted the “vital role” fetal tissues play in research that is actively searching for cures to a number of diseases. CMP also relied on Rep. Vicky Hartzler’s (R-MO) misleading statement during the hearing that Planned Parenthood exerts “undue influences” to coerce women to donate tissue. This is inaccurate, however, as the consent form explicitly states that provision of services is not dependent on an agreement to donate and that there will be no financial profit from donation. Previous Media Matters research found that during its hearings, the select panel presented "evidence" of wrongdoing pulled directly from CMP's website and previous videos. The 14th video demonstrates that there is a dangerous feedback loop operating between CMP and anti-choice lawmakers on the select panel. [Media Matters, 4/7/16; 4/22/16; 3/7/16]

Additional Videos Recycle Old Footage To Continue Smear Campaign 

CMP Released Three Videos -- Titled "PROFIT," "HARVEST," And "Cover-Up" -- Recycling Old Footage To Continue Its Smear Against Planned Parenthood. Between January 5 and 19, CMP released three videos that contain no new footage, instead offering a retrospective of the "undercover footage released in the past half-year," as CMP put it in a press release. These videos represent a continuation of CMP's efforts to attack the women's health organization. Although the videos repackage the illicitly obtained footage, they still do not include any evidence of illegal activity by Planned Parenthood. [The Center for Medical Progress, 1/5/15; 1/12/16; 1/19/16]

Following Indictment By A Houston Grand Jury, CMP Releases Repackaged Attack On Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast Affiliates. On January 25, a Houston grand jury cleared Planned Parenthood and instead indicted Daleiden and one of his CMP associates. On February 2, CMP released a new video titled: "Planned Parenthood Houston Admits Accounting Gimmicks Hide Baby Parts Sales, Invoices Charge $8,000." In the video, CMP recycles illicitly gathered footage to attack Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast and its director of research, Melissa Farrell, in spite of the grand jury's ruling days earlier that there was no evidence of wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood. [The Center for Medical Progress, 2/2/16]

Independent Analysis Finds Evidence Of "Manipulation" In Undercover Videos

Independent Analysis By Forensic Experts Concluded CMP Footage Was "Manipulat[ed]." An independent analysis commissioned by Planned Parenthood and conducted by forensic experts found that the Center for Medical Progress' videos "contain intentionally deceptive edits, missing footage and inaccurately transcribed conversations." The experts found "42 instances in which CMP edited out content from the short as well as so-called full versions of the tapes" and that "at least two of the filmed interviews with Planned Parenthood officials are missing at least 30 minutes of content." [Media Matters, 8/27/15]

Media Have Roundly Called Out CMP For Accusing Planned Parenthood Of Illegal Acts, Which Videos Don't Show

Multiple Media Outlets Have Called Out CMP's Videos For Showing "Nothing Illegal" And Taking Planned Parenthood Staff "Grossly Out Of Context." Multiple media outlets, including The New York Times¸ The Guardian, the Huffington Post, and the Daily Beast, have condemned CMP's release of deceptively edited videos. After the first video appeared, FactCheck.org debunked CMP's claim that Planned Parenthood was "selling aborted baby parts," and detailed the ways in which the allegation was inaccurate and unfounded. The videos have also been condemned for taking Planned Parenthood personnel's words "grossly out of context" and for showing "nothing illegal." The New York Times editorial board wrote that the videos were part of a "campaign of deception" and said those who use the videos for political purposes care "nothing about the truth." [Media Matters, 7/15/15; 7/21/15; 7/22/15]

Background On The Shady, Anti-Choice Group Behind The Deceptive Videos

CMP's Founder, David Daleiden, Has A Long History With Discredited Conservative Groups. CMP's founder, David Daleiden, has a long history with discredited conservative groups. Daleiden was the director of research for the discredited anti-abortion group Live Action, which has also been criticized for deceptively editing undercover footage of abortion clinics in an attempt to smear Planned Parenthood. Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue, serves on CMP's board of directors. Newman once called the murder of an abortion clinic doctor a "justifiable defensive action." In a 2003 press release, Newman defended Paul Jennings Hill, who was executed by lethal injection for murdering abortion doctor John Britton in Pensacola, FL. Newman argued that Hill should have been able to defend himself by classifying the murder as justifiable. [Media Matters, 7/15/15]

Multiple Investigations Into Allegations Have Found No Illegal Activity By Planned Parenthood

Growing List Of Planned Parenthood Investigations Clears Organization Of Any Wrongdoing. The deceptively edited and secretly-recorded videos released by the Center for Medical Progress have spurred at least 11 states to launch investigations into Planned Parenthood's operations, even though there are "only three states in which Planned Parenthood affiliate clinics can participate in fetal tissue donation programs," according to Yahoo News. Nine states -- Massachusetts, Indiana, South Dakota, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Florida, Kansas, Washington state -- and the Department of Health and Human Services have all announced that they found no wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood or known violations of federal fetal tissue laws. [Media Matters, 8/24/15]

Texas Grand Jury Indicts Two Members Of CMP

Texas Grand Jury Indicted Two Members Of Anti-Choice Group CMP. A Houston grand jury indicted CMP founder David Daleiden and his associate Sandra Merritt for tampering with a governmental record in creating fake California driver's licenses. Daleiden was also indicted on a misdemeanor charge related to his offers to Planned Parenthood officials in Texas to purchase human organs. The indictment came after CMP released a series of doctored videos claiming to show Planned Parenthood selling aborted fetal parts. [Media Matters, 1/26/16]

Posted In
Gender, Reproductive Rights
Person
David Daleiden
Stories/Interests
Planned Parenthood, Center For Medical Progress, Featured
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