See more of our coverage on the effects of the misleading Center for Medical Progress videos here.
The Center for Medical Progress published its ninth video on Tuesday as part of a campaign against Planned Parenthood and organizations involved in fetal tissue research. The video of secretly recorded footage focuses on the biomedical companies involved in providing fetal tissue to researchers.
Packaged in CMP’s now-familiar style of heavily edited sound bites and dramatic black-and-white slow motion replays, the video shows secretly recorded conversations and meetings between CMP operatives and employees of two biomedical companies and a former employee of Planned Parenthood.
The video focuses on secretly recorded conversations with Perrin Larton, procurement manager for Advanced Bioscience Resources, Inc. (ABR), as she explains some of the company’s practices. Included in CMP’s latest attack is previously released footage of secretly recorded conversations with Dr. Katharine Sheehan, the former medical director of Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, and Cate Dyer, CEO of StemExpress.
Sex. Abortion. Parenthood. Power.
The latest news, delivered straight to your inbox.
The footage was apparently secretly recorded at an industry trade show by David Daleiden, the project leader at CMP and the front group’s figurehead, as he pretended to be a graduate student looking to conduct fetal research.
Larton explains during the video how federal laws treat stem cell, embryonic, and fetal tissue differently. The video highlights a statement Larton makes about abortion restrictions. “Now they’re trying to make abortion illegal, and that’s where we get our tissue,” Larton said.
Latron explains the extraordinary circumstances that can result an abortion procedure resulting in an intact fetus. For women who have had multiple pregnancies and multiple vaginal births, this can cause the abortion procedure to occur rapidly due to cervical dilation.
“I literally have had women come in and they’ll go in the [operating room] and they’re back out in three minutes, and I’m going, ‘What’s going on?’ Oh yeah, the fetus was already in the vaginal canal whenever we put her in the stirrups, it just fell out,” Latron said. “If they have a lot of births, that’s kind of what happens,”
“But most of the time it is not intact,” Latron added.
“Essentially what can happen is what [Latron] describes, delivery of the contents of the uterus: the fetus, the placenta and fluid,” Dr. Leah Torres, an OBGYN with specialized training abortion care and reproductive health, told Rewire.
To ensure the safety of the patient before and during a second-trimester dilation and evacuation (D and E) abortion procedure, Torres explains, the physician providing the abortion care will dilate and “soften” the cervix. These preparations often result in the cessation of cardiac activity before the fetus is removed during an abortion procedure.
If they do not, physicians take other measures. Ultimately, Torres said,”There is no delivery of any live fetus. There is no cardiac activity when this happens.”
The rhetoric being used by CMP and their descriptions of abortion care have been misleading, according to Torres. “There has been a lot of talk in the media about the delivery of ‘intact’ fetuses—’intact’ does not mean alive,” Torres said. “It simply means that the fetus is not in pieces.”
CMP claims the video is more evidence of wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood and other organizations. “In the twisted world of baby parts trafficking from Planned Parenthood abortion clinics, there are few unbroken rules,” Daleiden said in a statement.
The videos, which have been released in coordination with anti-choice Republican lawmakers, have sparked outrage directed at Planned Parenthood from Republican legislators and anti-choice activists. Anti-choicers across the country have compared Planned Parenthood to everything from drug dealers to Nazis.
Republican lawmakers in states around the country have called for investigations and hearings into the organization, but to date none have uncovered any evidence that Planned Parenthood affiliates have broken any laws with regard to fetal tissue. There are four congressional committees conducting investigations into CMP, Planned Parenthood, and fetal tissue donation and research.
Analysis by an independent research company found that CMP deceptively edited footage in the “undercover” videos to alter the meaning of dialogue and removed significant portions of video from what the organization claimed were “full footage.”
“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, wrote in a report.
Planned Parenthood submitted the report to Senate and House leadership of both parties, as well as a letter authored by Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, that provides background and information about the organization’s history with fetal tissue research.