Were Planned Parenthood Videos Doctored? An Independent Firm Has Finally Put The Case To Rest

Finally, there's some good news for Planned Parenthood. An independent research firm commissioned by the women's health organization found that the hidden-camera videos released by the Center for Medical Progress were manipulated enough to have no legal "evidentiary value," and can't be used in official inquiries. On Thursday, Planned Parenthood gave the report absolving its name to congressional leaders and a committee investigating the alleged crimes. Now that there's proof the sting videos were heavily edited, can we all let this controversy go?

According to a Planned Parenthood statement sent to Bustle, three teams of forensics, production, and transcript experts from the research firm Fusion GPS reviewed the five secretly-recorded videos, which the Center for Medical Progress claimed showed Planned Parenthood employees discussing selling tissue from aborted fetuses for profit, which is illegal. The firm concluded that there were at least 42 splices where video content was cut and edited together, sometimes completely changing the meaning of what was said. Glenn Simpson, a Fusion GPS partner, wrote in the 10-page report submitted to Congress: "A thorough review of these videos in consultation with qualified experts found that they do not present a complete or accurate record of the events they purport to depict."

Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards said in a statement Thursday: "Our commitment is to get all the facts and share them fully, and that’s what we’re doing today. We’ve said all along that these videos were heavily edited to deceive the public, and that’s what this expert analysis now shows. The more the public learns about this fraudulent, baseless attack on women’s health, the better, and that’s why today we’re laying everything out for leaders in Congress and for the public."

Pro-life conservatives used the videos as a pretext to wage a new war against Planned Parenthood. Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee opened an investigation into the organization's alleged criminal activity in July, writing in a statement that they would "get to the bottom of this appalling situation." Last month, Republicans in the Senate introduced a bill that would have stripped millions in federal funding from Planned Parenthood, but it didn't pass. Since the disputed videos were released, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and New Hampshire have successfully withdrawn funds from the organization, terminating its state Medicaid and family planning funding contracts. Utah is currently trying to do the same.

Fusion GPS's analysis proves that the sting videos don't accurately portray Planned Parenthood employees' discussions, which should be enough to relieve the organization of any criminal accusations. Politicians and pro-life activists have spent a lot of time and energy fighting Planned Parenthood because of these videos, and it's time to move on. The videos were manipulated — Planned Parenthood staff members weren't talking about selling fetal tissue for profit. Let's collectively agree to let this controversy go, allow Planned Parenthood to continue providing much-needed medical care to millions of Americans, and focus our attention on real issues plaguing the U.S.