When hucksters win #antiabortionfraud

When hucksters win

by digby

We haven't heard a lot about "baby parts" recently but I'd expect it will be back in the headlines when Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn and company run their hearings for the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives. But this investigation by the Los Angeles Times into the "Center for medical Progress" videos should discredit them once and for all:

She was subdued and sympathetic on camera. Her recollections of collecting fetal tissue and body parts from abortion clinics in northern California lent emotional force to the anti-abortion videos that provoked a furor in Congress last summer.

In footage made public last July, Holly O’Donnell said she had been traumatized by her work for a fetal-tissue brokerage. She described feeling “pain...and death and eternity” and said she fainted the first time she touched the remains of an aborted fetus.

Unreleased footage filed in a civil court case shows that O’Donnell’s apparently spontaneous reflections were carefully rehearsed. David Daleiden, the anti-abortion activist who made the videos, is heard coaching O’Donnell through repeated takes, instructing her to repeat anecdotes, add details, speak “fluidly” and be “very natural.”

“Let’s try it two more times,” he told her at one point.

Later, O’Donnell protested: “I don’t want to tell that story again. Please don’t make me again, David.”

For more than two years, Daleiden and a small circle of anti-abortion activists went undercover into meetings of abortion providers and women’s health groups. With fake IDs and tiny hidden cameras, they sought to capture Planned Parenthood officials making inflammatory statements. O’Donnell cooperated with the filmmakers, offering an inside view of the fetal tissue trade.

The videos sparked numerous investigations into Planned Parenthood and efforts in Congress to strip the organization of its federal funding.

Now, Daleiden, head of the Irvine-based Center for Medical Progress, and his associates contend that they were acting as investigative journalists, seeking to expose illegal conduct. That is one of their defenses in lawsuits brought by Planned Parenthood and other groups, accusing them of fraud and invasion of privacy.

But unpublicized footage and court records show that the activists’ methods were geared more toward political provocation than journalism.

The Times and the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley took a detailed look at published and unreleased video footage, sworn declarations, excerpts of recorded dialogue and other court records from the lawsuits against Daleiden.

The editing is far more extensive than we knew.They tried to get people drunk on hidden camera and put words in their mouths. It's outrageous that this fraud is still going to get hearings.

Eight months after the release of the videos, investigations in a dozen states have found no wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood.

Not that it matters. The anti-abortion industry is in full celebration mode:
Adding to the momentum to defund abortion giant Planned Parenthood, Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed a bill Sunday that strips $1.3 million in taxpayer money from the organization.

Ten states—Wisconsin and Ohio being the most recent—have taken action over the past several months to cut taxpayer dollars from Planned Parenthood.

“Not one more penny should go to Planned Parenthood, a scandal-plagued abortion business that does not provide comprehensive health care services for women,” Casey Mattox, Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel, said in a statement.

The Ohio Legislature passed the bill, H.B. 294, earlier this month and sent it to Kasich, a Republican, for his signature. Under the new law, state and certain federal funds will be directed to federally qualified health centers and departments instead of entities that perform or promote elective abortions.

Mattox, who testified before the Ohio Senate’s Government Oversight and Reform Committee to provide legal opinion on an earlier Senate version of the bill, added:

Ohio’s new law terminates funding for Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses, freeing up money for more widely available and more comprehensive low-cost health care options for women and families in the state. Taxpayer dollars should not go to organizations with a long track record of abusive and potentially fraudulent billing practices, that have been caught in authenticated undercover videos negotiating prices for baby body parts, and that have repeatedly failed to report the sexual abuse of girls. Ohio is right to end its relationship with organizations undeserving of taxpayer money and unworthy of the taxpayers’ trust.

Planned Parenthood has fought other states’ efforts to cut off its funding, arguing that its constitutional rights were being violated.

The legislation “will have devastating consequences for women across Ohio,” Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said in a statement.

At least a dozen state governments and the U.S. Congress began investigations into Planned Parenthood following videos released by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) last summer. The videos, which showed undercover footage, sparked a nationwide conversation into alleged illegal conduct by Planned Parenthood.

“Planned Parenthood’s involvement in abortion is well-known,” Chuck Donovan, president of the Charlotte Lozier Institute, told The Daily Signal. “The Center for Medical Progress videos have just pointed out exactly what that means in a way that you can’t look away from it.”

David Daleiden, founder of CMP, and his colleague Sandra Merritt were indicted for falsifying driver’s licenses used during their investigation into Planned Parenthood. Daleiden was also indicted for knowingly and intentionally offering to buy fetal tissue. Planned Parenthood has claimed no wrongdoing.

“The Center for Medical Progress put this on the national agenda,” Donovan said. “So much of government ends up being pointing out something that’s been a problem for a while and finally recognizing that the bureaucracy has let things happen.”

Donovan thinks the legal battle over the videos will have “very little effect.”

He's probably right. They did their damage through lies and fraud.

This is their fundamental belief:

Anyone want to join me in a dramatic reading of The Handmaid's Tale?