Planned Parenthood has filed a lawsuit against the Center for Medical Progress — the anti-abortion group behind a series of “sting videos” targeting the reproductive health organization — alleging that the group violated the Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO Act) and engaged in wire fraud, mail fraud, invasion of privacy, illegal secret recording, and trespassing.
“The is action is brought to expose the falsity and illegality of Defendants’ methods and to recover damages for the ongoing harm to Planned Parenthood emanating from the video smear campaign,” the complaint said.
The legal action is being brought by both the national organization and its California affiliates, whose employees were among the subjects in the undercover videos. It was filed in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California.
The complaint alleged that the videos brought harassment and threats to Planned Parenthood employees, including the shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado in November.
The makers of the videos alleged that the footage revealed the Planned Parenthood was illegally profiting off its participation in fetal tissue donation programs. Planned Parenthood has vehemently denied the claim and argues the videos are heavily doctored. Nevertheless, state and national lawmakers have launched investigations into the health care organization, and the the GOP-controlled Congress flirted with a government shutdown over the allegations.
According to The Hill, the president of the Center for Medical Progress, David Daleiden said “game on” in a statement responding to the lawsuit.
“I look forward to deposing all the CEOs, Medical Directors, and their co-conspirators who participated in Planned Parenthood’s illegal baby body parts racket,” he said.