Planned Parenthood on Thursday gave congressional leaders and a committee that is investigating allegations of criminality at its clinics an analysis it commissioned concluding that “manipulation” of undercover videos by abortion opponents make those recordings unreliable for any official inquiry.
“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,” said the analysis of a private research company.
Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, underscored that message in a cover letter to the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, and House Speaker John A. Boehner, both Republicans, and to Senator Harry Reid and Representative Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leaders.
With Mr. Boehner’s urging, Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee in July opened an investigation of Planned Parenthood after the Center for Medical Progress, an anti-abortion group, began posting online secretly recorded videos that the center claims show Planned Parenthood affiliates illegally profit from selling tissue from aborted fetuses to researchers and, in some late-term abortions, prevent a possible live birth.
Planned Parenthood denies the charges, and says that the videos were deceptively and misleadingly edited.
The analysis was by Fusion GPS, a Washington-based research and corporate intelligence company, and its co-founder Glenn Simpson, a former investigative reporter for The Wall Street Journal.
The videos, recorded by two activists posing as representatives of a biotechnology firm procuring tissue for researchers and universities, continue to be released online about once a week. One of the activists, David Daleiden of California, told The New York Times last month that his “thousands of hours of videotape” was enough to release videos into the fall. That will coincide with Congress’s final budget debate, and the videos have stoked growing Republican threats of a government shutdown unless Planned Parenthood is stripped of about $500 million it gets annually, mostly to care for low-income Medicaid patients. By law, public funds cannot pay for abortions.
Read more: NY Times