Analysis

Three reasons the Center for Medical Progress’s letter to Congress could be a gamechanger

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In an open letter to several congressional leaders, dated August 31, the Center for Medical Progress publicly laid out a compelling case against Planned Parenthood. The letter highlights evidence uncovered by CMP in a series of undercover videos, as well as some of PP’s futile and self-incriminating responses to the evidence.

CMP’s letter to Congress may mark a turning point in actions taken against Planned Parenthood, for three reasons…

1. CMP exposes the truth that PP leadership is and has been fully aware that illegal activity is taking place within the organization. CMP’s David Daleiden explains:

CMP’s video and document evidence of Planned Parenthood’s involvement in illegal profiteering on fetal tissue, illegal abortions, and violations of patient autonomy and human dignity reach to the highest levels of Planned Parenthood’s national organization. While denying any wrongdoing, Planned Parenthood leadership has admitted to Congress and to the public their knowledge and support of the fetal tissue supply programs in operation at multiple Planned Parenthood affiliates.

Daleiden specifically mentions comments from PP’s CEO Cecile Richards:

… there are two key admissions in Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards’ letter to Congress of August 27 that the investigating Committees should focus on particularly. First, Richards admits that multiple Planned Parenthood affiliates have recently received payments of $45 to $60 “per tissue specimen” from various Tissue Procurement Organizations (TPOs). Second, Richard admits that abortion procedure “adjustments to facilitate fetal tissue donations” may occur at Planned Parenthood facilities. We believe these two admissions, of payments for specimens of fetal tissue and changes to abortion procedures in order to get better specimens, constitute prima facie evidence of the three points CMP has raised all along: 1) That Planned Parenthood sells aborted fetal tissue, 2) That Planned Parenthood changes the abortion procedure in order to get saleable tissue, and 3) That there is knowledge and approval of these practices from the top of the organization on down.

Stunningly, Richards also admits that some Planned Parenthood doctors may “adjust” abortion procedures in order to obtain higher quality fetal tissue specimens. Federal law at 42 U.S.C. 289g-1 is written to bar such alterations to abortion procedures. According to Richards, Planned Parenthood relies on their own narrow interpretation of this law to excuse the changes their doctors make to abortion procedures in order to get higher quality specimens. Even if the Planned Parenthood interpretation were correct, such changes to the procedure are clearly in violation of their own guidance and also contrary to the language used in their patient consent form for tissue donation: “I understand there will be no changes to how or when my abortion is done in order to get my blood or the tissue.”

2. CMP’s letter exposes Planned Parenthood’s apparent continued practice of partial-birth abortion, a particularly brutal method of abortion, which has been illegal in the United States since 2003:

PPFA Senior Director of Medical Services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, clearly described a partial-birth abortion according to the federal law during the lunch meeting CMP investigators had with her on July 25, 2014. Almost 7 weeks after the release of the video of that exchange, Planned Parenthood still has yet to explain why their lead doctor, responsible for writing the Medical Standards & Guidelines Manual (which includes policies for fetal tissue supply) and for training other Planned Parenthood abortion doctors, seems to routinely practice this illegal late-term abortion method to get higher quality fetal tissue.

3. CMP reveals the truth behind Planned Parenthood’s sham analysis of the undercover videos created by The Center for Medical Progress. Daleiden maintains that the videos have proven to be authentic, that they contain an abundance of incriminating evidence against PP, and that PP’s paid analysis is meaningless. This may prove difficult for PP to dispute:

Planned Parenthood’s recent pseudoscientific, paid analysis of CMP videotapes by a political opposition research firm is a poor attempt to distract from the serious admissions of Planned Parenthood leadership in the videos: videos which Planned Parenthood’s own analysis admits “did not reveal widespread evidence of substantive video manipulation” and “shows no evidence of audio manipulation.” Of course, CMP is ready to provide original recording files to law enforcement and to Congress to the extent we are lawfully able to.

Despite Planned Parenthood’s best efforts to save face and turn blame on others, CMP is not backing down. In Daleiden’s letter to Congress, CMP successfully exposed PP leadership’s support for illegal action, the illegal and inhumane practice of partial birth abortion, and the phony nature of PP damage control moves.

With a body of evidence so compelling, it is likely that Congress will be forced to act soon.

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