Medical Ethics Group Behind Planned Parenthood Vids Slammed For Using Picture Of Woman’s Dead Baby

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Blake Neff Reporter
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The Center for Medical Progress (CMP), the group responsible for releasing several undercover videos of Planned Parenthood officials, is taking fire for one of its image choices in a recently released video.

The video, published Aug. 19, focuses on former StemExpress employee Holly O’Donnell, who recounts an alleged experience where she worked with an intact 20-week-old aborted fetus to remove its organs. O’Donnell describes seeing the fetus move and at one point even hearing its heart beat after being struck, which CMP says suggests the fetus may actually have been born alive (turning the abortion into a case of infanticide).

While O’Donnell speaks at about the nine-minute mark, the video shows an image of a dead fetus very similar to the one she would have worked with, which at least subtly implies the image was of an actual aborted fetus.

It turns out that image was not of an aborted fetus, but rather a second-trimester stillbirth, named Walter Fretz by his mother, who published the photo on an online blog.

The mother, Lexi Fretz, never received any contact from CMP, and while she objects to what they did, she is not going to take any action, according to a Facebook screengrab posted by ThinkProgress:

stillborn photo

CMP has updated the YouTube page for the video to acknowledge the image was of Walter Fretz. The video credits the image to the British newspaper The Daily Mail, although The Daily Mail itself credits the image to Lexi Fretz.

The pro-abortion site RH Reality Check has piled on, pointing out that another image in the video is sourced to the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, an anti-abortion group that specializes in producing macabre images of dead fetuses. RH Reality Check accuses CMP of engaging in duplicitous tactics to trick viewers with “recycled” footage.

Notably, the video is listed in a separate part of CMP’s website as part of a “documentary web series” rather than an example of “investigative footage.” It’s also not clear that CMP’s image choice changes the nature of their videos.

CMP founder David Daleiden has fired back, saying that allegations of deception are ludicrous.

“We never claimed that was an image of an aborted baby. It’s just an illustration of what a baby looks like at the end of the 2nd trimester,” Daleiden told The Hill in a statement. “It’s interesting that Planned Parenthood and their allies assumed so quickly that’s what was happening – are they just grasping at straws, or are their consciences also starting to get to them?”

CMP’s O’Donnell video has been criticized on other grounds as well. Yahoo Health reports that while O’Donnell says she applied to StemExpress for a different position and was surprised to end up processing fetal tissue, the company says she explicitly applied to be a procurement technician. The company also says that she left after working only 34 days, on the grounds that she wasn’t working as many hours as she wanted, rather than any displeasure with the company’s actions.

The Daily Caller News Foundation has reached out to CMP for comment regarding StemExpress’s statement, but has not yet received a reply.

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