In a letter to Congress today, Planned Parenthood detailed how recent attacks are part of a decade-long pattern of illegal harassment by extremists, whose focus is banning abortion and preventing women from accessing preventive health care at Planned Parenthood health centers.
In the letter to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, Planned Parenthood outlined:
- How a video released last week was edited to falsely claim that the organization violated laws,
- How the broader attack was perpetrated,
- The extremist ties of the individual who led the fraud, and
- What additional tapes the extremists may be planning to distort to make false charges.
Here’s what you need to know: Planned Parenthood is the most trusted women’s health care provider in this country and has been for nearly 100 years. Nothing is more important to Planned Parenthood than patients’ health and safety. That’s why we are fighting back hard and calling this what it is: part of a decade-long campaign of deceiving the public, making false charges, and terrorizing women and their doctors — all in order to ban abortion and prevent women from accessing care at Planned Parenthood.
Already, conservative politicians have begun to use this fraud campaign to justify legislation to defund Planned Parenthood — which would cut women off from birth control, lifesaving cancer screenings, and other services. Anti-women’s health politicians also are using the fraud campaign to push for legislation banning abortion, both federally and in states.
The Truth About the Video and the Extremists Behind It
Responding to a request Friday, the letter to the congressional committee included these important facts:
An analysis of the heavily edited, nine-minute video released last week compared to the uncut 162-minute video: The longer video shows that a Planned Parenthood staffer said 10 different times that Planned Parenthood would not sell tissue or profit from tissue donations. All 10 instances were cut out and the video was edited to falsely claim she said the opposite.
The man who perpetrated the fraud, David Daleiden, has participated in at least 10 separate fraud campaigns over the last eight years involving gaining access to Planned Parenthood health centers or offices under false pretenses, taping staff (and sometimes patients) without their knowledge on at least 65 occasions (not counting the latest fraud), and misleading the public with heavily edited tapes and false charges.
Another man involved in the fraud, Troy Newman, is the leader of Operation Rescue, whose members have bombed abortion clinics and murdered Dr. George Tiller in his church.
This latest attack started approximately three years ago and included the creation of a phony company claiming to be a health care organization. Daleiden then embarked on a campaign of corporate espionage with Planned Parenthood as its target. The fraud included possible violations of state and federal recording laws and tax laws, as well as the possible use of a false state identification card.
The Months Ahead
Based on initial analysis, Planned Parenthood believes that Daleiden may have thousands of hours of videotape that he will use to edit deceptively into short clips to make false claims, likely for many months.
Among the areas that Planned Parenthood said it expects to see on video are:
- Illegal, secret recording in a highly sensitive area of a health center where tissue is processed after abortion procedures, a serious invasion of women’s privacy and dignity.
- Offers from impersonators posing as health care professionals to pay various sums of money for tissue or organs, from $100 to $1,600 – offers which could be illegal, and which Planned Parenthood staff refused.
- Leading and vague questions and discussions about how abortions are performed to get footage that could be edited to suggest wrongdoing, regardless of the fact that Planned Parenthood staff made clear they would not violate laws.
- Cynical and ugly questions about whether tissue from African American patients could be isolated to use for research to find a cure for sickle-cell anemia, presumably to edit deceptively and manufacture false and inflammatory video involving race.
Impact on Planned Parenthood Patients
What we know right now: A group of extremists who have intimidated women and doctors for years — in their agenda to ban abortion completely — are not “documenting” misdeeds; they are making false accusations.
From all that is known today, the only people who have broken laws are the extremists who have hounded women and Planned Parenthood doctors for years.
Learn more about the video released last week (like how it was clearly and deceptively manipulated) and about the company behind it (including its pattern of unlawful harassment, and how it was created to take down Planned Parenthood), scroll to the bottom of this great resource.
Don’t forget about the real Planned Parenthood patients who are being hurt with this attack. Read Linda N.’s moving story.