Planned Parenthood has filed a federal lawsuit against the Center for Medical Progress, the anti-abortion group that released 10 videos last year that exposed the organization for violating laws prohibiting the sale of fetal tissue. Those videos quickly became part of the national debate on abortion and led Republicans in Congress to cut Planned Parenthood off from federal funding. That vote, of course, was quickly vetoed by President Obama.
“Today, Planned Parenthood is going on the offense,” said the organization’s Kathy Kneer.
The Center for Medical Progress didn’t hesitate in releasing a statement condemning the lawsuit. “Planned Parenthood is under investigation by the United States Congress and multiple law-enforcement agencies, while their business is drying up and the public is turning against their barbaric abortion for baby parts trade,” said the undercover outfit. “Now they are filing a frivolous lawsuit in retaliation for CMP’s First Amendment investigative journalism that has done nothing more than tell the truth about Planned Parenthood’s lawless operations.”
Planned Parenthood has denied any wrongdoing, and their lawsuit claims that CMP violated state and federal law by recording people without their knowledge or permission, breaking non-disclosure agreements, and by registering false identities with state governments in setting up a fake company called Biomax.
“The people behind this fraud lied and broke the law in order to spread malicious lies about Planned Parenthood,” said Dawn Laguens, the vice president of Planned Parenthood. “This lawsuit exposes the elaborate, illegal conspiracy designed to block women’s access to safe and legal abortion.”
We will soon see if federal courts determine that CMP broke the law in exposing the inside workings of the national abortion mill, but the methods used to obtain these videos shouldn’t overshadow the videos themselves. Planned Parenthood may not be guilty of actually selling fetal tissue, but no one can actually watch these videos without having grave reservations about what’s going on in this ghastly industry. This goes beyond the abortion debate; it speaks to what sort of country we want to be.
To be clear, no one in Congress is suggesting that Planned Parenthood be shut down. The heart of the matter is whether or not American taxpayers should have to subsidize a company that is responsible for nearly a million abortions a year. The Hyde Amendment supposedly blocks federal funding for abortion, but the argument that there is some kind of wall separating abortion from the rest of Planned Parenthood’s financial activities is absurd. Even if CMP did break the law to bring us these undercover investigations, we should award them for their patriotism.