Planned Parenthood to GOP: Viral video filmed illegally

Planned Parenthood to GOP: Viral video filmed illegally
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Planned Parenthood’s top legal officer is claiming the viral video that sparked a national uproar over fetal tissue donation last week was created as part of a decades-old illegal smear campaign.

Roger Evans, the organization’s senior counsel, told House Republicans on Monday that the secretly filmed video was created by anti-abortion-rights activists who have repeatedly broken laws to gain access to Planned Parenthood as part of a “decade-long pattern of illegal harassment.”

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He claimed the same activist who released last week's video has illegally taped staff or patients at least 65 times over the last decade.

“From all that is known today, it appears that the only people who have broken laws are the extremists who have been hounding women and Planned Parenthood doctors for years,” Evans said.

The video was released last week by the Center for Medical Progress, an organization led by David Daleiden, who has been accused by Planned Parenthood of “at least 10 separate attacks” against the group.

In the video, which has surpassed 2 million videos online, members of the Center for Medical Progress impersonated researchers at a fake company called Biomax Procurement Services to discuss fetal tissue donation with Planned Parenthood’s top doctor.

In the wake of the video, Planned Parenthood has faced sharp backlash from GOP lawmakers and is the target of two committee investigations.

Evans, who wrote to the GOP leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, also said the most recently released video was likely filmed illegally under California laws.

“We know that Mr. Daleiden used a false California driver’s license in gaining access to Planned Parenthood facilities,” Evans wrote in the letter.

Planned Parenthood argued that Biomax’s intent “was to induce our affiliates to enter into sham procurement contracts.” For example, Biomax previously offered to pay $1,600 for a liver and thymus, an “astronomical amount” that was turned down by Planned Parenthood, Evans wrote in the letter.

Planned Parenthood has come under fresh scrutiny after the release of a video in which its chief medical officer discusses the preservation and transfer of fetal tissue, including livers, lungs and “intact” hearts.