A series of unedited videos were handed to the Congress, after anti-abortion activists infiltrated into Planned Parenthood organization. The announcement was made by Jason Chaffetz, a Republican House committee chairman on Wednesday.
The videos show Planned Parenthood officials discussing about fetal tissue retrieval, and they responded stating that they will no longer accept reimbursement to cover the cost of fetal tissue donations, obtained from abortions. They ratified their position, alleging that they didn’t do anything illegal.
“This is a fraud, intended to deceive the public in order to advance an extreme political agenda to ban safe and legal abortion in this country,” said Planned Parenthood spokesman Eric Ferrero, according to The Washington Post.
Although this type of research is legal, people questioned the non-profit nature of the organization. The Center for Medical Progress announced that videos from Planned Parenthood broke the law by taking profit of the tissue’s sales.
“It is curious that, while Planned Parenthood officials maintain there has been no wrongdoing, they still find it necessary to change their policy,” Republican Tennessee Rep. Diane Black said in a statement responding to the decision, according to TIME.
The chairman informed that he set up a room where Republican and Democratic lawmakers can see the recordings, adding that they will not be released to the public until they can ensure the safety and security of all parties involved.
Chaffetz claims that he has nearly 800 gigabytes of raw footage, meaning it will take some time for investigators to evaluate it. Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the committee’s top Democrat, complained about the GOP refusing to give to Democrats their own data to conduct their investigation, saying it violates the panel’s subpoena that requires one copy for each party, according to The Washington Post.
David Daleiden is the man behind the leaked videos. He spent two and a half years undercover, posing as a fetal-tissue-procurement executive in order to do all the recordings at Planned Parenthood. He’s been a long time activist against abortion, doing research about the subject and becoming the director of research for a national anti-abortion group named Live Action.
According to TIME, Daleiden used actors, cover stories, and business cards to maintain his identity among other techniques he wouldn’t reveal, saying that “a good magician never reveal his secrets”. Also, he promised to write a full report, as The Center for Medical Progress keeps releasing parts of the footage.
Abortion out of debate
Some experts are highlighting the fact that abortion and the Planned Parenthood video leaks were ignored in the Democratic debate that took place last Thursday.
Although it is well known that candidates spend months preparing for these events, it is difficult to understand how they could leave off the table a subject that has been discussed for a long time now. A sensible matter like selling tissue of aborted fetuses would be hard to ignore, even for people who support abortion rights.
Source: The Washington Post