“I think it shows that even an organization as large, as well-funded and politically connected as Planned Parenthood is not invincible,” he added. “The tone of panic is really evident in this funding request.”
The document, titled “Urgent Response in Defense of Women’s Health –Planned Parenthood Action Fund,” was published by the website DCLeaks.com. If accurate, it indicates that the Open Societies Foundations’ U.S. general reserves fund made a $1.5 million grant to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund for lobbying efforts to respond to the video investigation and its aftermath.
According to the document, Planned Parenthood’s Fight Back Campaign was projected to cost $7 to $8 million. Cecile Richards, the Planned Parenthood CEO and a trustee of the deeply influential Ford Foundation, had already secured a $2 million commitment for 501c3 funds.
“While Planned Parenthood has had to defend against a variety of attacks by abortion opponents in recent years, the release of these videos and the related attacks were severe and without warning,” the document says. “Countering this offensive requires an enormous amount of resources and staff time, which is the intent of the opposition.”
In July 2015, the Center for Medical Progress began to release a series of undercover videos that appeared to show Planned Parenthood’s role in the sale of fetal tissue of aborted babies to tissue harvesters for profit – a practice barred by federal law.
The investigation provoked an outcry over possible lawbreaking by the largest abortion provider in the U.S. and strengthened the movement to end taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood, which receives $500 million in federal funds annually for other services.
The reputed Soros foundations document appears to have been written about three weeks after the first video broke.
According to the document, the $1.5 million grant provided an “infusion” of 501c4 funding to Planned Parenthood’s political arm “as they were waging a critical defense against attacks to the reputation and credibility of Planned Parenthood and potential loss of federal funding.” The grant reportedly enabled the action fund’s Fight Back Campaign to mobilize supporters and lobby state and federal legislators to counter efforts to defund the abortion provider.
The grant report said funding for lobbying activities through 501c4 organizations is “much harder to come by” so the Open Society Policy Center is “uniquely situated” to provide “critical resources Planned Parenthood will have a hard time finding anywhere else.”
The grant was planned to fund lobbying of legislators as well as paid and earned media, and other activities. Planned Parenthood Action Fund was running targeted television ads in key districts to rally voters.
“Working with top crisis communications consultants, Planned Parenthood is conducting national and state media outreach to both expose the true agenda of its opponents and transform the narrative surrounding these attacks, including forensic analysis of doctored tapes,” the document says.
Daleiden has rejected charges the Center for Medical Progress committed fraud in its investigations and reports.
(Story continues below)
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“All of those claims from Planned Parenthood have been completely discredited at this point,” he told CNA. “There’s no deceptive editing in the videos. In fact the full footage of the videos has been available for over a year now for anyone who wants to watch to see it.”
Daleiden pointed to the work of the Select Investigative Panel of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee.
“They’re confirming that Planned Parenthood absolutely profited off of the sale of fetal body parts, which was a state and federal crime,” he said, suggesting the panel has found even deeper problems.
The journalist also thought the abortion provider’s reaction campaign had reached the limit of its effectiveness.
“There’s not really much else that Planned Parenthood or their allies or their many business partners in this area can do to erase history or rewrite history at this point. We live in a digital age. You can’t just shred documents or delete e-mails… they still end up popping up one way or another.”
He pointed to another leaked document apparently prepared for the Oct. 1-2, 2015 board meeting for the Open Society U.S. Program. It referred to the videos as one of the attacks “that have upended Planned Parenthood.” The Center for Medical Progress investigations will have long-term consequences involving “the substantial eroding of Planned Parenthood’s credibility and reputation,” the board meeting book said.