THE BLOG
08/12/2015 10:31 am ET Updated Aug 12, 2016

How and Where the Planned Parenthood Videos Prove to Be Deceptively Edited

Annie Pancak

Amid the vicious storm of Planned Parenthood videos released this summer, the organization and its loyal supporters continue to allege the videos are sham.

"Highly edited," Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards called them in an interview with MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell last Monday.

The same day, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) also described the videos as highly edited prior to a Senate vote that ended the debate to defund the organization.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) presented the same allegations when the videos first surfaced last month, and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) claimed the video's anti-abortion creators "manipulated facts."

But Planned Parenthood's attackers have a pithy, effective response: "Well then show me."

To some, the examples of manipulated editing are clear, but there is value in being precise.

There are three types of edits that can be found in the anti-Planned Parenthood videos: first, strategically cutting and combining footage; second, changing the words in the audio to different words in the subtitles; and third -- the most obvious -- overlaying music that invokes fear.

In the first video, released on July 14, two hours and 42 minutes of footage was cut into a less-than nine minute video.

The video focuses on a meeting with a senior director of Planned Parenthood, and makes it seem as if the organization profits from selling fetal tissue. In actuality, Planned Parenthood sells fetal tissue for medical research, and the costs are associated with transportation, etc. The full transcript shows that a critical clarification was left out. "This is not, nobody should be selling tissue. That's just not the goal here," she said.

In the most recently released fifth video last week, at 1:32 minutes in, another Planned Parenthood director is made to appear to admit that the organization cheats the standard protocol for handling patients.

In the video she says:

Our organization has been doing the research for many, many, many years. And we've had studies in which the company, or in the case of the investigator has a specific need, for certain portion of the products of conception and we bake that into our contract, and our protocol, that we follow this. So, we deviate from our standard in order to do that. Telling you this so then we can get creative about when and where and under what conditions can we interject something that is specific to the tissue procurement needs.

There is a noticeable cut at 2:01. And the full transcript shows that in this cut the director says:

So, you know, we can do it in a way that we're still verifying that everything is there for the safety of the patient, but then we maintain the integrity of that sample. So yeah, that's definitely something we can do. So as far as, this is our standard process.

What she essentially implies is that Planned Parenthood does everything for the safety of the patient as part of their standard process.

In the fourth video, released on July 30, there are three cuts like this within 45 seconds from 7:45 to 8:30.

The subtitles can be just as misleading. At 10:50 into the fifth video, a Planned Parenthood official answers a question about a recent case.

"Oh, it was a twent-, I know what you mean, 20 gestational age," she says. However, the video's subtitles indicate that she said, "Oh, it was a twin, I know what you mean, 20 gestational age."

Switching the word to twin makes the woman seem as if she is emotionally deceptive by associating the tissue with more lifelike traits, while the reality is that she used the terminology expected of a medical professional.

It doesn't appear to be a mistake by the editors; there is more than one subtle word change.

In the second video, released July 21, at 7:53 minutes, in reference to costs associated with transporting the tissue, a Planned Parenthood executive says "If it's still low, then we can talk about it." The subtitle reads, "If it's still low, then we can bump it up."

Media Matters, a liberal website that monitors the media, has documented further misleading differences between the edited and full videos.

Despite the videos' hollowness, they have triggered the reaction the creators hoped for -- moves by politicians towards ending Planned Parenthood. Louisiana, New Hampshire and Alabama have started defunding actions while Texas, Indiana and Georgia have called for investigations.

Congress will continue to fight over defunding the organization after the recess break, and all of the GOP presidential candidates have sided with reactionaries.

It is not the first time heavily edited videos related to Planned Parenthood have generated political debate. In 2011, videos that falsely portrayed the organization received the same response.

As long as these highly edited videos are effective in creating political division, they will continue; if not now, then in the future.

Also on HuffPost:

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Facts About Planned Parenthood