The Group Behind the Planned Parenthood Sting Videos Releases a “Greatest Hits” Montage

It’s the one year anniversary.

David Daleiden of the Center for Medical Progress leaves a Houston courtroom in February after turning himself in to authorities.Bob Levey/AP

On this day last year, a then-unknown anti-abortion activist named David Daleiden, the founder of the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), released a video purporting to show Planned Parenthood staff negotiating the sale of fetal tissue, a practice which is illegal. That video was the first of 11 that were released over the course of last summer, and later found to have been secretly-recorded and deceptively-edited. They led to a series of state and congressional investigations of the women’s health organization.

Today, CMP released a 12th video, this one of clips from the ones released last year interwoven with some news coverage and political action that followed. LifeNews, an anti-abortion news site, called the CMP video compilation the “greatest hits of their undercover work.”

“This latest video is just more of the same lies, trying to push an extreme political agenda to ban abortion in this country and cut people off from reproductive health care and education,” said Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, in an emailed statement to Mother Jones. “It hasn’t succeeded, and it will not succeed.”

Last year’s allegations have led to a total of 12 state investigations and four congressional inquiries into the largest provider of women’s health care. None have found evidence of wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood.

One grand jury in Texas, tasked with investigating Planned Parenthood, chose instead to issue a felony indictment against Daleiden and another activist from the CMP for tampering with a governmental record by using fake drivers’ licenses in order to gain access to Planned Parenthood. Daleiden also got a misdemeanor charge for offering to illegally purchase human organs. (That misdemeanor charge was later dropped.) That indictment, as well as an ongoing lawsuit by Planned Parenthood and the state and congressional investigations exonerating the women’s healthcare provider, haven’t stopped Daleiden from continuing to make allegations about fetal tissue sales.


The more we thought about how MoJo's journalism can have the most impact heading into the 2020 election, the more we realized that so many of today's stories come down to corruption: democracy and the rule of law being undermined by the wealthy and powerful for their own gain.

So we're launching a new Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption. We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We'll publish what we find as a major series in the summer of 2020, including a special issue of our magazine, a dedicated online portal, and video and podcast series so it doesn't get lost in the daily deluge of breaking news.

It's unlike anything we've done before and we've got seed funding to get started, but we're asking readers to help crowdfund this new beat with an additional $500,000 so we can go even bigger. You can read why we're taking this approach and what we want to accomplish in "Corruption Isn't Just Another Scandal. It's the Rot Beneath All of Them," and if you like how it sounds, please help fund it with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.