California AG To Review Planned Parenthood ‘Sting’ Videos

Kamala Harris, California’s attorney general keynotes the UCLA Law Review Symposium: "Examining the Roots of Human Trafficking and Exploitation," at the UCLA campus in Los Angeles Friday, Jan. 30, 2015. Harris has ... Kamala Harris, California’s attorney general keynotes the UCLA Law Review Symposium: "Examining the Roots of Human Trafficking and Exploitation," at the UCLA campus in Los Angeles Friday, Jan. 30, 2015. Harris has announced her candidacy for U.S. Sen Barbara Boxer,’s open seat. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes) MORE LESS
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Attorney General Kamala Harris said Friday that she plans to review two undercover videos released by anti-abortion activists aimed at discrediting Planned Parenthood’s procedures for providing fetal tissue to researchers, to see if any laws were broken.

Harris announced the move in a letter to four Democratic members of Congress who had requested an investigation, saying she’ll use her office’s authority to regulate charity organizations to see if the organization that made the videos violated registration or reporting requirements, or broke any other rules. Harris, a Democrat, plans to run for the U.S. Senate in 2016.

“We will carefully review the allegations raised in your letter to determine whether there were any violations of California law,” Harris said in the letter to four members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

She said her office will look into “allegations that individuals impersonated corporate officials from a fake biologics company, resulting in the release of secretly filmed videos of Planned Parenthood physicians without their consent.”

The videos show Dr. Mary Gatter, a Planned Parenthood medical director in Southern California, meeting with people posing as potential buyers of intact fetal specimens. The conversation focuses largely on how much money the buyers should pay.

David Daleiden of the Center for Medical Progress, the group that released the videos, said it follows all applicable laws when making the videos that he called investigative journalism.

He said in a statement that Planned Parenthood is “trying to use the power of their political cronies to shut down free speech” and to “silence the freedom of the press.”

The videos have brought investigations of Planned Parenthood’s policies on aborted fetuses by three Republican-led congressional committees and three states.

Federal law prohibits the commercial sale of fetal tissue, but it allows the not-for-profit donation of tissue if the women who underwent abortions give their consent. Planned Parenthood says the payments discussed in the videos pertain to reimbursement for the costs of procuring the tissue — which is legal.

Gatter says in the second video, which was released on Tuesday a week after the first, that “We’re not in it for the money,” while also discussing whether a payment of $100 per fetal specimen would be adequate.

Planned Parenthood spokesman Eric Ferrero said in a statement after the release of the second video that the organization behind the videos “is a group of extremists who have intimidated women and doctors for years in their agenda to ban abortion completely.”

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Latest News

Notable Replies

  1. You know how there’s all those “open secrets” of Dick Cheney feasting on bloody, raw baby parts as part of his Satanic rituals to keep his rotting corpse reanimated?

    Where do people think they come from - do they think fetuses grow on trees?

  2. It is about time, someone is reviewing these smear campaigns.

  3. Free speech my ass, libel and slander are not protected and that is what these videos amount to.

  4. I hate, hate, hate, hate having to defend these repugnant “journalists”, but going after the video creator is never a good idea. The better option is for us to force the group to release all unedited video to give every quote its proper context. Then, PP needs to be fully upfront on how it properly donates the fetal tissue to the proper organizations. And teach the people who negotiate the transfers not to say stupid stuff off the cuff.

    Also, maybe next time PP gets a request from a company it’s never heard of, try Googling it!

    My opinion is that PP really is doing all this legally and above the board, but humans sometimes say stupid stuff when having a light conversation over lunch.

  5. So if they engaged in fraud and/or fale reporting during the three years of setup it took them to get this meeting, they should be able to get off scot free? Sorry, no. Being able to set up an intricate web of lies is integral to their strategy; it’s why googling doesn’t always reveal that they’re fake. There has to be consequences if they did it illegally, which is highly likely.

Continue the discussion at forums.talkingpointsmemo.com

9 more replies

Participants

Avatar for system1 Avatar for leftflank Avatar for cessnadriver Avatar for maxwellsdemon Avatar for thx1138 Avatar for harry_r_sohl Avatar for midnight_rambler Avatar for darcy Avatar for azjude Avatar for bpurcell Avatar for towerofbable Avatar for landsolo

Continue Discussion
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: