Oliver Willis

Who’s Behind The Center For Medical Progress?

David Daleiden, Head of Center for Medical Progress

What Is The Center for Medical Progress?

The Center for Medical Progress is the anti-abortion groups who has released a series of deceptively edited videos attacking the women’s health group, Planned Parenthood. But who are the people backing the Center?

Deceptive Beginnings

The Center for Medical Progress has received notification from the IRS that they are recognized as a 501(c)3 non-profit charity. This allows them to receive unlimited, anonymous donations. But when they applied for their status, Center for Medical Progress presented themselves as a biological research group, not as an anti-abortion activist group.

David Daleiden, Head of Center for Medical Progress

David Daleiden describes himself as a a “citizen journalist.” In reality, Daleiden is a part of the radical anti-choice movement. He previously served as director of research for the group Live Action. Live Action has produced a series of anti-abortion videos which repeatedly took abortion clinic providers and workers out of context in order to accuse them of illegal and unethical practices.

The methods used to edit videos and package them with deceptive titles and claims has been nearly identical under both Center for Medical Progress and Live Action.

Troy Newman, Center for Medical Progress Board Member

Troy Newman, Center for Medical Progress Board Member

Troy Newman identifies himself in press releases as a “board member” of Center for Medical Progress. Newman has been affiliated with and the head of a branch of the radical anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, known for repeated intimidation of abortion clinic doctors and workers.

In 2003, Newman issued a press release professing sympathy for Paul Hill, who had murdered abortion doctor John Britton in Pensacola, Florida. Newman also stalked abortion clinic workers, picking through their trash for information and harassing their friends, families, and neighbors for associating with them.

Operation Rescue, Center for Medical Progress Ally

The radical anti-abortion group Operation Rescue worked “in consultation” with the Center for Medical Progress on their anti-Planned Parenthood videos.

Cheryl Sullenger, the senior policy advisor for Operation Rescue, was jailed for her attempt to commit terrorism and bomb an abortion clinic. Sullegener was part of a group who set up a gasoline bomb at an abortion clinic in San Diego.

Sullenger was also in communication with Scott Roeder, the man who killed abortion provider Doctor George Tiller in Kansas. She helped Roeder track court appearances for Tiller, before Roeder eventually murdered him.

Lila Rose, Center for Medical Progress Ally

Lila Rose, Center for Medical Progress Ally

David Daleiden previously worked with Lila Rose at Live Action, an anti-choice organization. It is actually possible that Center for Medical Progress is a cover for Live Action, who has damaged its brand with the serial release of completely discredited anti-abortion videos.

Lila Rose, in concert with David Daleiden at Live Action, produced a series of hoax videos attacking Planned Parenthood clinics. In those videos, Rose and Daleiden lied and claimed that Planned Parenthood supported race-selective abortion, didn’t provide mammograms, and generated a profit. The claims were all untrue.

James O’Keefe, Center for Medical Progress Ally

James O’Keefe, Center for Medical Progress Ally

Serial video hoaxer and ex-con James O’Keefe, head of the group Project Veritas, has been identified as a friend and ally of Center for Medical Progress chief David Daleiden. O’Keefe was responsible for the videos falsely claiming the community relief organization ACORN was working with pimps and prostitutes to game the welfare benefits system (He had to settle a lawsuit with one former ACORN employee). O’Keefe also produced hoax videos promoting fracking businesses and attacking NPR.

O’Keefe was also caught trying to lure a CNN correspondent on to a boat filled with sexual props, including a “condom jar, dildos, posters and paintings of naked women, fuzzy handcuffs” and a blindfold.

O’Keefe was caught breaking in to the offices of Sen. Mary Landrieu, and pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor. He was fined, sentenced to community service, and put on probation which restricted his ability to travel for three years.

Life Legal Defense Fund, Center for Medical Progress Associate

The Center for Medical Progress is affiliated with a shadowy group called the Life Legal Defense Fund. The Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance issued a report on Life Legal Defense Fund, noting they did not meet their standards for charity accountability. They also revealed that the organization engages in shady accounting practices: “one member is the organization’s paid CEO and the other is indirectly compensated as the sibling of a staff member who receives insurance benefits from the charity.”

Life Legal Defense Fund also promoted a conspiracy theory that the Obama administration had plans to imprison anti-choice activists without a trial.