An expert report submitted to congressional leadership today, concludes that the secretly recorded and heavily edited videos, released about Planned Parenthood and life-saving fetal tissue donation ‘significantly distort and misrepresent’ actual events.
“A thorough review of these videos in consultation with qualified experts found that they do not present a complete or accurate record of the events they purport to depict,”
- Glenn Simpson, a partner at the research firm Fusion GPS, in a 10-page report submitted to leadership of the House and Senate.
Fusion GPS assembled three teams of experts in video forensics, production, and transcription to review five secretly recorded videotapes of Planned Parenthood staff that have been released as part of a three-year fraud by a group of anti-abortion activists with extremist ties. The experts, which include Grant Fredericks who is a contract instructor of video sciences at the FBI National Academy and one of the most experienced video experts in North America, reviewed the five short videos (of eight to 15 minutes in length) that have been widely reported on and viewed, as well as the longer versions of those videos (which total 12 hours for all five) that were released hours or days later.
Key quotes from the expert report:
“The short videos take a great deal of dialog out of context so as to substantively and significantly alter the meaning of the dialog contained in the long videos.”
“CMP edited content out of the alleged “full footage” videos, and heavily edited the short videos so as to misrepresent statements made by Planned Parenthood representatives.”
“The short videos significantly distort and misrepresent the conversations in the full footage. Mr. Fredericks notes that the short videos contain ‘edited conversations where some spoken words are eliminated and some spoken words are added out of content.”
“At this point, it is impossible to characterize the extent to which CMP’s undisclosed edits and cuts distort the meaning of the encounters the videos purport to document. However, the manipulation of the videos does mean they have no evidentiary value in a legal context and cannot be relied upon for any official inquiries unless supplemented by CMP’s original material and forensic authentication that this material is supplied in unaltered form.”
Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards said today:
“Our commitment is to get all the facts and share them fully, and that’s what we’re doing today. We’ve said all along that these videos were heavily edited to deceive the public, and that’s what this expert analysis now shows. The more the public learns about this fraudulent, baseless attack on women’s health, the better, and that’s why today we’re laying everything out for leaders in Congress and for the public.”
Key data from the summary:
Collectively, the five videotapes of Planned Parenthood staff have at least 42 splices where content is cut and edited together to make it appear to be a seamless conversation.
In some cases, these splices completely change the meaning of statements. On one video, a Planned Parenthood staff member’s remarks about lab protocols were edited to make it sound like she was talking about changing abortion procedures. Phrases on the tape were isolated and removed, stringing together unrelated sentences to change the meaning.
Anti-abortion activists used the doctored “quote” to support false claims that she was talking about changing how an abortion would be done, and the “quote” was published by mainstream media as if it were real.
On one tape, a Planned Parenthood staff member in Colorado says 13 separate times that any arrangements related to fetal tissue donation need to be reviewed by attorneys and follow all laws – and all 13 are edited out of the video.
On another tape, a Planned Parenthood staff member in Texas says nine separate times that there is no “profit” related to fetal tissue donation – and all nine are edited out of the video.
The summary of edits and expert report were submitted to Senate and House leadership with a letter from Planned Parenthood Federation of America that provides extensive background and information on our involvement with fetal tissue research. The letter explains that fetal tissue research is critical for helping develop cures for serious diseases and advancing public health.
Planned Parenthood affiliates in two states — 1% of Planned Parenthood’s health centers — currently offer tissue donation as an option for women who want it.
To date, four separate committees in the House and Senate have launched investigations into Planned Parenthood.
In the last two weeks, five states have concluded investigations into Planned Parenthood – and every one of them has found no wrongdoing.
Two states – California and Texas – have also called for investigations into the Center for Medical Progress. Last month, a bill to defund Planned Parenthood and block millions of women from having access to health care failed to pass in the U.S. Senate.