This week, the Center for Medical Progress released its fourth Planned Parenthood sting video. This video, like those before it, shows undercover activists teasing out evidence suggesting that Planned Parenthood is in the business not only of providing abortions, but selling the resulting “fetal tissue” for profit.

Via WaPo:

Like the three previous releases from the Center for Medical Progress, the latest video contains accusations of illegal and unethical activity: First, it argues that Planned Parenthood profits from compensation as part of fetal parts donations; and second, that clinics may alter procedures to provide more intact specimens, in violation of established ethical standards for fetal parts collection.

“We have to kind of see the baseline of how things are getting extracted now and see if we can do any work with them to maybe be more gentle,” Ginde says in the video. She adds that the clinic has little control over whether specimens come out intact or not, but adds, “Sometimes, if we get, if someone delivers before we get to see them for a procedure, then we are intact.”

In another portion of the video, the undercover actors are allowed to observe the specimen collection process inside a Planned Parenthood clinic. “Do people do stuff with eyeballs?” Ginde asks the undercover actor. Later, a medical assistant notes that a specimen is “another boy.”


I don’t have any adjectives left to describe how awful this is.

Democrats, of course, are circling the wagons around their pet organization. The White House has called CMP’s video evidence “fraudulent,” and President Obama has promised to veto any efforts to strip funding from Planned Parenthood. More via the Washington Times:

Congressional Democrats said they’ll block any bills that remove money for the organization, and with the White House rising to defend Planned Parenthood, the stalemate could result in another showdown similar to the 2013 fight over Obamacare that left the government shuttered for more than two weeks.

“Democrats will unite against it. This is a Republican path to shutdown,” said Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, insisting the GOP will bear the blame.

Planned Parenthood has denied wrongdoing, and the White House rose to its defense Thursday with press secretary Josh Earnest calling the videos misleading because they were likely heavily edited.

“There’s ample reason to think that this is merely the tried-and-true tactic that we have seen from extremists on the right to edit this video and selectively release an edited version of the video that grossly distorts the position of the person who is actually speaking,” he said.

He added, “Based on the essentially fraudulent way in which these videos have been released, there’s not a lot of evidence right now that Planned Parenthood hasn’t lived up to” its ethical standards.

When it comes to popular activism, then, what’s the standard for determining what’s worth listening to, and what’s hacktivist spin?

The answer is, there is no standard.

The next fight will come in the form of a restraining order preventing CMP from releasing more videos featuring employees from StemExpress, who starred in previous CMP-released videos. We’ll keep you updated on the legal battle.