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Darrien Adams

Professor Stephen Burns

Composition II
Planned Parenthood vs. Anti-Abortion Activists
In the past year, Planned Parenthood has been under scrutiny by Congress and in the
news for videos that came to life showing Planned Parenthood in a terrible light. The footage
basically tells that Planned Parenthood clinics profit from the sale of fetal tissue for research
purposes. Abortion clinics can regain costs they acquire in supplying donated fetal tissue to
medical researchers but they are not allowed to profit from the exchange. Though these videos
make it seem like Planned Parenthood may have done this, the videos were edited to make it
seem worse than what may have happened. Also, the anti-abortion activists committed fraud by
lying to get in and invaded the companys privacy by recording them without them knowing.
Planned Parenthood isnt in the wrong here; the anti-abortion activists are.
Certain footage has been made public of Holly ODonnell describing how shes been
traumatized by her work for a fetal-tissue brokerage. She recollects gathering fetal tissue and
body parts from abortion clinics in northern California, which provided emotional backing to the
anti-abortion videos that enraged Congress last summer. Apparently, for more than two years, an
anti-abortion activist named David Daleiden and a small group of anti-abortion activists part of
a group called Center for Medical Progress, went undercover into meetings of abortion providers
and womens health groups. Their goal was to catch Planned Parenthood officials making
questionable statements, using tiny hidden cameras to record everything. These videos caused
many investigations into Planned Parenthood and there were efforts made in Congress to rid the

organization of federal funding. In a letter to supporters of the group, Daleiden said he wished to
generate political pressue on Planned Parenthood, focusing on Congressional
hearings/investigation and political consequences, such as new restrictions on abortion in the
US. Daleiden told the activists to lead their targets into saying something really, like, messed
up. The activists were given key phrases to elicit from their targets. Fully intact baby was one.
The videos and court records show that Daleiden and his accomplices, pretending to be
representatives of a fetal tissue brokerage, tried to open up those working at Planned Parenthood
with alcohol. In these conversations, he and his associated would try to insert phrases like fully
intact baby and make the workers say that fetuses were alive when they were harvested for use
in medical research. It was proved that Daleiden edited out material that went against his idea
that Planned Parenthood clinics profited from the sale of fetal tissue for research purposes. A
comparison of the actual footage and the videos released showed what he edited. After the
release of the videos, Daleiden said that the thought their methods were credible; his lawyers said
that he and his associates employed common tools of investigative reporting. Months after the
release of the videos, investigations into Planned Parenthood in a dozen states showed no
The organization did apologize for the remarks caught on camera, and has banned the
clinics from accepting any kind of reimbursement for making fetal tissue available for research.
The Harris County district attorney, Devon Anderson, said in a statement that grand jurors had
cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing.
The anti-abortion activist had no right, legally or morally, to go into Planned Parenthood
and record. Everything done in a clinic like that is done in complete privacy; no woman would

want to go into that clinic and try to get an abortion knowing someone had a hidden camera.
Most women feel extremely guilty about even considering the operation, so someone going into
such a private space and bringing hidden cameras is wrong in every way possible.
In January, David R. Daleiden, one the leaders of the Center for Medical Progress, had
been indicted on a charge of tampering with a governmental record, a felony, and a misdemeanor
related to purchasing human organs. Another center employee, Sandra S. Merritt, was indicted on
a felony charge of tampering with a governmental record as well. The charges accused the two of
making and presenting fake drivers licenses, with the intent to commit fraud, for a meeting at
Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood had also filed a separate civil fraud lawsuit against
Daleiden. In making the videos, Mr. Daleiden and others have been accused of setting up a fake
company as well, called Biomax Procurement Services, creating fake identities and claiming to
be part of an actual provider of fetal tissue researchers. Daleiden went by Robert Sarkis on his
license and Ms. Merritt used the name Susan Sarah Tennenbaum. Warrants were issued for each
defendant with an amount of $10,000 for bond.
In February, the U.S. District Judge, William Orrick, in San Francisco issued an
injunction requested by the National Abortion Federation (NAF) to keep more than 500 hours of
unreleased footage under seal. The judge said that the videos shown thus far have not been
pieces of journalistic integrity, but misleadingly edited videos and unfounded assertions of
criminal misconduct. The fraud was so extensive and the videos were so misleading that his
still-unpublished recordings of private conversations do not warrant 1st Amendment protection as
free speech, the judge said. Orrick used the words fraud and fraudulently over 13 times in
referring to Daleidens methods in his order. Daleiden and his accomplices are appealing the
injunction in a bid to unseal the tapes.


- "How Anti-abortion Activists Used Undercover Planned Parenthood Videos to Further a

Political Cause." Web. 06 Apr. 2016.

- Fernandez, Manny. "2 Abortion Foes Behind Planned Parenthood Videos Are Indicted." The
New York Times. The New York Times, 2016. Web. 06 Apr. 2016.

- "Anti-Abortion Activists Indicted On Felony Charges In Planned Parenthood Case." NPR.

NPR. Web. 06 Apr. 2016.