Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit on Thursday against the medical ethics group Center for Medical Progress.
The 107-page formal complaint against the center accuses the nonprofit of wire fraud, mail fraud, violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, and illegal recording.
The national Planned Parenthood organization and its California affiliate have said the Center for Medical Progress violated federal law as well as the laws in three states.
“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,” a statement from the center's website reads.
“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.
“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.”
The center released a series of undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood officials talking about the sale of aborted fetal body parts, which prompted national conversation about the practice.
Since then, Planned Parenthood said it would stop accepting reimbursement for the procedures.
The California affiliate of Planned Parenthood originally filed a cease-and-desist order against the center to prevent it from releasing any new videos. The order was ultimately lifted.
In the past, Planned Parenthood had called the videos heavily edited. The center counted the claims by releasing the raw footage.
Planned Parenthood has not said how much money it will seek in damages, but in the complaint, it announced it seeks compensatory, statutory, and punitive damages.