Is Seeing Believing in Planned Parenthood Videos?

Few have the stomach for watching the Planned Parenthood videos—among others, Nancy Pelosi refuses to watch them (though I suspect this has more to do with politics than stomach).

So how to get to the truth of the claim by Planned Parenthood head Cecile Richards that the videos were “heavily doctored”?

Certainly watching the videos, it’s hard to see how “doctoring” could have created out of whole cloth the video footage of lab technicians poking through clearly identifiable tiny body parts, nor the video of  a conversation revealing that labs receiving parts such as arms and legs prefer the hands and feet to be removed so they look less like what they are. (“It’s almost as if they don’t want to know where it comes from. Where they’re like ‘We need limbs, but no hands or feet need to be attached. …Make it so we don’t know what it is.’” Later she jokes that when shipping “intact cases,” i.e., entire bodies, you must warn the lab in advance, or else a lab tech will open the package and scream “Oh my god!”)

In support of its “doctored” claim, Planned Parenthood commissioned a report* from a firm otherwise known for politically-motivated smear campaigns, Fusion GPS, a “commercial research firm,” for which I could find no online information beyond a static home page with text.

In contrast, the makers of the videos, the Center for Medical Progress, provided their full, raw audio and video files to the independent cyber risk management and compliance firm Coalfire to provide a certified Digital Forensics Analysis Report.

Coalfire’s full Digital Forensics Analysis Report is available online or to download, here.

Highlights from the report:


Coalfire’s objectives for this project are to:

  • Forensically evaluate video and audio files provided by The Center for Medical Progress (“the Organization”) through CGS (“raw” video and audio), and determine whether the raw video or audio content of the files have been edited or otherwise altered;
  • Compare the raw video and audio to certain files posted to YouTube (“Full Footage” videos and a “Supplemental” video) for the purpose of determining inconsistencies between the files.


The report’s findings:

Coalfire’s analysis of the recorded media files contained on the flash drive indicates that the video recordings are authentic and show no evidence of manipulation or editing. This conclusion is supported by the consistency of the video file date and time stamps, the video timecode, as well as the folder and file naming scheme. The uniformity between the footage from the cameras from the two Investigators also support the evidence that the video recordings are authentic. With regard to the “Full Footage” YouTube videos released by the Organization , edits made to these videos were applied to eliminate non-pertinent footage, including “commuting,” “waiting,” “adjusting recording equipment,” “meals,” or “restroom breaks,” lacking pertinent conversation. Any discrepancies in the chronology of the timecodes are consistent with the intentional removal of this non-pertinent footage as described in this report.

The folks at The Federalist provide a more entertaining summary of the report’s findings: “5 Shocking Scenes The Planned Parenthood Video Creator Doesn’t Want You To See: A forensic audit reveals what was left on the cutting room floor.”

Take a look at the report, look around Coalfire’s website, and then try to check out Fusion GPS.

Then, finally, I urge anyone who cares about women and children to watch the videos.

If you have time for endless cat videos (yes, I love them, too), you have time for this. “We didn’t know” is an empty excuse.


*Yet the worst even the report bought and paid for by Planned Parenthood alleges is that the videos do not meet the standard for admission into court, identifying “cuts, skips, missing tape [sic], and changes in camera angle,” (which the Coalfire report addresses). It nowhere claims the videos were “doctored” as Ms. Richards claimed in testimony before Congress.

Mary L. G. Theroux is Senior Vice President of the Independent Institute. Having received her A.B. in economics from Stanford University, she is Managing Director of Lightning Ventures, L.P., a San Francisco Bay Area investment firm, former Chairman of the Board of Advisors for the Salvation Army of both San Francisco and Alameda County, and Vice President of the C.S. Lewis Society of California.
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