The leading U.S. reproductive health services organization, Planned Parenthood, filed a lawsuit Thursday against the anti-abortion group responsible for secretly filming abortion providers over a two-year span.
The lawsuit filed in federal court in San Francisco against the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress charges that the group acted illegally when it secretly recorded videos damaging to the organization.
The videos, which were released in July, sparked widespread controversy by purporting to show Planned Parenthood officials trying to negotiate prices for aborted fetal tissue.
Under U.S. federal law, donated human fetal tissue may be used for research, but profiting from its sale is prohibited.
The suit accuses the anti-abortion group of violation of privacy, fraudulent misrepresentation, breach of contract, and trespassing in connection with the video-recording campaign.
Dawn Laguens, vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, again denied the organization has ever profited from its tissue donation programs.
"This entire smear campaign is a fraud built on illegal acts and a web of lies," she said.
Since their release, the videos have triggered a virulent backlash against the health-services provider by conservative lawmakers in Congress and state legislatures calling for funding cuts.