Planned Parenthood has publicly taken a beating over a series of videos released by Center for Medical Progress, an anti-abortion group. One of the videos appears to show a Planned Parenthood physician coordinating the sale of aborted fetal tissue.
Now, Planned Parenthood is fighting back. Planned Parenthood Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens told The Hill the videos are illegal. "I absolutely do believe that they have violated laws in terms of how they secured these videos," she said. "But the fraud is also in how they have presented them and in the editing.”
"We are considering everything," she said. "I'm not a lawyer — but everything is on the table when you look at these videos and the fraud and the conspiracy behind it.”
Since the release of the videos, Republicans have threatened to take away $528 million in annual federal funding, none of which is used for abortion services. Laguens slammed the right’s reaction. "The Republican presidential candidates are completely out of step with the American people," she said, adding that she believes Planned Parenthood will still receive federal funding.
"I certainly believe that (we'll be funded), because I believe the American people are speaking — and our patients, the 1 in 5 women who rely on Planned Parenthood over their lifetime — are (speaking to lawmakers)," she said.
Planned Parenthood wouldn’t be the first group to pursue legal action against the Center for Medical Progress over the videos. A former employee of StemExpress, a Placerville, California-based company, was interviewed in one of the videos and the company has sued the Center for Medical Progress to prevent it from releasing a video of Chief Executive Catherine Dyer. The video was reportedly shot without Dyer’s knowledge and StemExpress has been granted a temporary restraining order, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Laguens believes that, ultimately, Planned Parenthood can emerge from the scandal. "If every woman who had an abortion in this country stood up, this debate would be over," she said.