On Thursday, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and all seven of its California affiliates filed a federal lawsuit against the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) and others connected to the undercover videos that exposed Planned Parenthood’s harvesting of aborted baby parts. The three broadcast networks – ABC, CBS and NBC – never mentioned the story during their news shows Thursday evening and Friday morning.
BREAKING: Planned Parenthood & our CA affiliates today filed a lawsuit against the people behind widely discredited video smear campaign.— Cecile Richards (@CecileRichards) January 14, 2016
In a press release announcing the news, Planned Parenthood insisted it “never sold fetal tissue or facilitated fetal tissue donation in order to make a profit.” Among other things, the lawsuit accused CMP for “illegal conduct that includes violating the Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO Act) and engaging in wire fraud, mail fraud, invasion of privacy, illegal secret recording, and trespassing.”
Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens accused CMP of breaking the law to “spread malicious lies.”
“This lawsuit exposes the elaborate, illegal conspiracy designed to block women’s access to safe and legal abortion, and we filed the case to hold them accountable,” she said in the release before bashing CMP for its “misguided and deeply unpopular agenda.”
Center for Medical Progress Project Lead David Daleiden accepted the challenge.
"Game on,” David Daleiden responded shortly after Planned Parenthood announced 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."
Daleiden later issued a longer statement regarding Planned Parenthood:
"Planned Parenthood is under investigation by the United States Congress and multiple law enforcement agencies, while their business is drying up and the public is turning against their barbaric abortion for baby parts trade. Now they are filing a frivolous lawsuit in retaliation for CMP’s First Amendment investigative journalism that has done nothing more than tell the truth about Planned Parenthood’s lawless operations. This last-ditch move of desperation is going to expose all of the sordid dealings of the California Planned Parenthood affiliates to the light of the legal system and the public will see them for the corrupt abortion and baby body parts profiteers that they really are."
According to its latest annual report, Planned Parenthood received $553.7 million from “Government Health Services Grants & Reimbursements” from 2014 to 2015. In other words, 43% of Planned Parenthood’s revenue comes from the government.
But even fact isn’t pressing the networks to raise an eyebrow at this public interest story.