Planned Parenthood filed a federal lawsuit against the Center for Medical Progress Thursday over its release of undercover videos that exposed the non-profit’s dealings in fetal tissue parts.
The series of videos “did their intended damage,” reads the formal complaint, which alleges CMP and it’s project lead David Daleiden violated federal law and laws in three states, including secret taping and trespassing in the course of its years-long investigation. (RELATED: The 7 Most Outrageous Screwups In The Planned Parenthood Baby Parts Scandal)
“Millions of people who viewed the manipulated videos and inflammatory accusations were made to believe that Planned Parenthood had violated the law and acted improperly,” adds the complaint.
CMP obtained the footage of Planned Parenthood executives and top doctors during a 3-year-investigation, and alleges Planned Parenthood is illegally profiting from the sale of harvested fetuses. Planned Parenthood denies the allegations and quickly accused CMP of doctoring the videos.
A Planned Parenthood-commissioned analysis of the undercover videos found no “substantive” manipulation of footage. The analysts found evidence of some edits, such as cuts or skips in the footage, but little to suggest CMP tampered with the footage in any meaningful way, and zero evidence of audio manipulation.
The civil lawsuit is the first legal action Planned Parenthood has taken against CMP. Planned Parenthood officials have not decided how much money they’ll seek in damages, but announced it’s seeking compensatory, statutory and punitive damages, reported The Hill.
“This last-ditch move of desperation is going to expose all of the sordid dealings of the California Planned Parenthood affiliates to the light of the legal system,” CMP said in a statement Thursday, “and the public will see them for the corrupt abortion and baby body parts profiteers that they really are.”
The videos sparked a public backlash, state and federal defunding efforts, and congressional investigations, including the appointment of a select committee with subpoena powers. Planned Parenthood says it has stopped receiving any money for fetal tissue.