Planned Parenthood report says fetal tissue videos were distorted

27 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Sting’ Videos Of Planned Parenthood Are Totally Manipulated, Forensic Analysis Finds.

The undercover Planned Parenthood videos that spurred a congressional investigation were so severely manipulated that they wouldn’t hold up in court, according to an analysis by three teams of forensic experts.Republican leaders in Congress are considering a pledge to hold a separate vote on defunding Planned Parenthood as a way to keep the issue from derailing legislation to keep the government running, said congressional aides with knowledge of the discussions.Six weeks and eight videos into a campaign by an anti-abortion group — which says its secretly recorded videos show evidence that Planned Parenthood broke federal laws governing fetal tissue donation — Planned Parenthood says that even the group’s “full” videos have been significantly altered.Planned Parenthood staff did not report multiple rapes of a 14-year-old girl who got two abortions at the clinic that were four months apart, the Alabama health department found during a recently published review of the clinic.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America on Thursday sent congressional leaders an analysis that asserts videos of officials discussing fetal tissue were doctored and can’t be used as evidence. In private discussions, the leaders are looking at using reconciliation procedures to let a Planned Parenthood bill come up for a filibuster-proof Senate vote, the aides said.

According to a report compiled by a group Planned Parenthood hired, Fusion GPS, a forensic video expert found that the Center for Medical Progress’s “full footage videos contained numerous intentional post-production edits.” Based on the timestamps on the longer videos alone, roughly 30 minutes are missing from the videos recorded in Texas and Colorado. She walked two hours across town to make it to her 9:30 a.m. appointment at Planned Parenthood because she didn’t want to wake her mother to ask for bus money. Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, underscored that message in a cover letter to the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, and House Speaker John A. The letter and analysis are Planned Parenthood’s first response to investigations by federal lawmakers following the release of eight undercover videos by an antiabortion group.

He said the teams found that all of the videos analyzed — even the supposedly “full,” unedited footage the CMP released — were missing large sections of time and misleadingly altered so that separate conversations appeared to take place in an uninterrupted take. Some Republican presidential candidates, including Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, have demanded that legislation to fund federal agencies after Sept. 30 include a provision barring abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood from receiving federal money. The group behind the videos, made up of anti-abortion activists, spent nearly three years posing as a fetal tissue procurement agency seeking to act as a middleman between Planned Parenthood and medical researchers. Planned Parenthood did not obtain proper consent from a guardian, as required by Alabama law, and did not take proper precautions when administering the medication abortions.

She’s been on birth control since she was 14, when doctors found a cyst on her ovary, and now she’s worried about how her body will react if she goes off the medication. The videos have stirred a Republican backlash and efforts to defund the organization. “Our commitment is to get all the facts and share them fully, and that’s what we’re doing today,” Ms. Shortly after release of the analysis, the anti-abortion group responsible for the videos dismissed the attempted debunking as “a complete failure,” and attributed gaps identified in the videos to “bathroom breaks and waiting periods.” With Mr.

Democrats have blocked Senate action on those, arguing that spending shouldn’t be capped at the levels mandated in the the Budget Control Act, Public Law 112-25. The clinic’s own standards require an abortionist to consult the medical director and/or affiliate protocols before performing a medication abortion on someone with a hemoglobin level below 10. They first came here together years ago when they were dating, seeking tests for sexually transmitted infections before taking their relationship further. About 4,000 patients a year are buzzed in the front door of this modest shotgun double on Magazine Street four blocks off Napoleon Avenue, one of two Planned Parenthood clinics in Louisiana.

But the CMP edited the videos into episodes that make it look as though Planned Parenthood is selling fetal parts for profit and changing abortion methods to deliver intact specimens. The leaders could combine Planned Parenthood provisions with language repealing parts of the Affordable Care Act into a package that, under reconciliation procedures, would require only a simple majority of members.

The clinic’s director of patient services verified a report was not made in an interview with the health department, but “gave no additional information as to why,” the review notes. The family planning provider strongly denies both charges, and five separate state investigations into Planned Parenthood have cleared the organization of any wrongdoing. The review also found sanitation and infection control problems, noting a number of observed abortions in which the doctors failed to wash their hands properly or at all between procedures and when changing gloves. Antiabortion groups say the videos show Planned Parenthood profited from providing fetal tissue for research and that its doctors used a procedure that violates a ban on what is known as a partial-birth abortion. One of the activists, David Daleiden of California, told The New York Times last month that his “thousands of hours of videotape” was enough to release videos into the fall.

The clinic “failed to follow the procedure for Instrument Cleaning and Sterilization, gloves and hand hygiene,” the review states. “This had the potential to negatively affect all patients served by this facility.” Planned Parenthood Southeast, which includes the Alabama clinic in its network, did not respond to a request for comment. In one case, the video indicates that a technician said, “It’s a baby.” But those words cannot actually be heard in the video — the segment consists of incomprehensible background chatter. “In our view, CMP created the purported statement, ‘It’s a baby,’ either through transcription error or intentional fabrication,” Simpson wrote in the report. One affiliate in California works with a third-party contractor like the one the anti-abortion activists purported to be, she added, charging “$60 per tissue specimen” for what Richards said was reimbursement of costs, and an affiliate in Washington works directly with the University of Washington for no reimbursement.

Others come here because they believe they won’t be judged because of whom they’ve slept with, how they make their money or what may have happened to them that they don’t want anyone else to know about. The House and Senate aides, who spoke on condition of anonymity, stressed that using reconciliation to deal with Planned Parenthood was still an option being studied. The law specifically covering transplantation of fetal tissue prohibits profiting from providing the tissue but permits providers to obtain reasonable fees for procurement. When Baton Rouge patients are figured in, the total Medicaid patient-load is 55 percent to 60 percent, according to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals and Planned Parenthood. “I feel comfortable here,” says the slight 20-year-old woman, who asks that only her first name be used to maintain her privacy.

Several have been released since with footage repeated from earlier videos, though the most recent ones focus not on Planned Parenthood but on a company, StemExpress, that procures fetal and human tissue globally for research. In the case of one video filmed in Colorado, Richards said, the doctor “repeatedly told the Biomax representative that legal counsel would have to review any contract with Biomax. If rank-and-file Republicans accept such an assurance, the leaders would be able to focus on other aspects of their negotiations with the White House.

The review was led by Glenn Simpson, a partner at Fusion GPS and a former reporter at The Wall Street Journal, and included other outside contractors such as a transcription service. But in Louisiana, these patient-practitioner interactions — there were about 15,100 of them in 2014 in Planned Parenthood’s two clinics — have become fraught with controversy, not because of the care provided but because who provides it. One possible option would be to repeal the Obamacare mandates that individuals purchase health insurance, either with government-subsidized exchanges, or on the private market. Nationally, abortions comprised 3 percent of Planned Parenthood’s services last year, according to its annual report, though a recent Washington Post Fact Checker analysis questioned the methodology behind that figure. Two separate organizations, Stem Express and the National Abortion Federation, have sued in state and federal court respectively seeking to block the videos’ release.

The organization does plan to provide abortions at its 7,000-square-foot clinic now under construction on South Claiborne Avenue, but the Jindal administration at first denied the nonprofit’s application to do so. Fredericks said recordings in Houston and Denver were each missing about 30 minutes of video, judging from time stamps and frame counters on the recordings.

Planned Parenthood has apologized for the tone of some of its officials in talking about how an abortion procedure can be altered in order to harvest the tissue from certain organs, but has noted that it is operating under the law and that the tissue taken is important for research that can treat illnesses and save lives. Also Thursday, antiabortion groups and advocates are joining with African-American pastors outside the National Portrait Gallery in Washington to call on the museum to remove a bust of Margaret Sanger, a birth-control advocate who in the 1920s founded a precursor to Planned Parenthood. More than half of the total providers listed treated 50 or fewer patients in a year with one or more family planning service — and 30 percent saw 20 or fewer.

The percentage of Texas organizations offering long-acting, reversible contraception to patients declined from 71 percent in 2011 to 46 percent in 2012-13. It’s not yet clear why there’s a discrepancy and the two sides each say they are standing by their figures. “Other Medicaid providers in Baton Rouge and New Orleans are already stretched to the breaking point,” Planned Parenthood’s court complaint stated. “It is virtually impossible to locate a private OB/GYN who will take a Medicaid patient who is not pregnant.” Patients at other clinics must wait a long time to get appointments, Planned Parenthood officials say. Data show the state at or near the top of national rates for teen pregnancies, new HIV cases, chlamydia, syphilis deaths, cervical cancer, pre-term births and infant mortality. “In Louisiana,” Carter said, “we have these high rates, we’re not teaching sex education and then we remove the opportunity for people to seek testing and treatment.

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