Planned Parenthood told Congress Monday that a secretly recorded video released last week by an anti-abortion group is fraudulent and part of a decadelong pattern of illegal harassment aimed at prohibiting abortion and intimidating women and doctors.
"A group of extremists who have intimidated women and doctors for years — in their agenda to ban abortion completely — are not 'documenting' misdeeds; they are trying to create them, quite unsuccessfully," the group wrote to lawmakers.
The letter represented Planned Parenthood's fullest response so far to a video released last week by the Center for Medical Progress. In it, a top Planned Parenthood official discusses how the group sometimes provides tissue from aborted fetuses for medical research, a conversation over wine and lunch she was having with two actors posing as purchasers of fetal organs.
In its letter to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Planned Parenthood says center official David Daleiden is behind the video. The center, which says the conversation was recorded last year, lists Daleiden as its project lead.
The letter says that Daleiden has secretly recorded Planned Parenthood staff and patients at least 65 times over the last eight years, and then used heavily edited tapes to make false charges.
Planned Parenthood writes that Daleiden may have thousands of hours of video "that he will use to edit deceptively into short clips to make false claims."
It says the organization believes in coming months, Daleiden will release additional illegally made recordings from health centers where tissue is processed and has asked leading questions aimed at gathering video that could be used to suggest wrongdoing.
The Energy and Commerce Committee is one of three Republican-led congressional panels that has begun looking into the video.
Deleiden did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment.