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Updated at 4:39 EST to add a comment from Rep. Diane Black, R-TN.

IRVINE, CA, January 14, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Planned Parenthood has filed a lawsuit against the organization that exposed their practice of receiving financial remuneration for collecting the body parts and tissues of aborted babies.

Planned Parenthood sued the Center for Medical Progress today, accusing the group of violating numerous state and federal laws, including the Federal Racketeering and Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act – a law intended to prosecute the Mafia.

Its legal brief describes CMP as a “complex criminal enterprise conceived and executed by anti-abortion extremists” that engaged in “large-scale illegal taping” intended “to demonize Planned Parenthood, harass and intimidate its dedicated staff, and interrupt its operations, all with the ultimate goal of interfering with women’s access to legal abortion.”

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Irvine, California, seeks compensatory and punitive damages against CMP as an organization, as well as CMP Lead Investigator David Daleiden, CMP Board Member Troy Newman, Albin Rhomberg, Philip Cronin, Sandra Merritt, and Gerardo Lopez individually.

They claim that CMP used false identification and misrepresented the true nature of the front group “BioMax” to gain access to Planned Parenthood officials, then record and publicize its conversations.

Those videos, which began to trickle out last July, had an explosive impact on the political landscape beginning with the first video, showing Dr. Deborah Nucatola casually eating salad and sipping wine as she described her plan “to crush” a baby's body in a way to preserve the organs its benefactors requested – to “try to get it all intact,” in her words.

Receiving financial profit from the sale of human body parts is a federal felony, triggering numerous state and federal investigations into the billion-dollar industry.

Another CMP video shows Dr. Mary Gatter dickering over prices, afraid that by making an initial offer for price, she will get less than the maximum amount per body part. “Dr. Gatter and her colleague intended for the meeting to be a strictly confidential communication,” Planned Parenthood argues.

“These videos were heavily manipulated,” the legal brief states.

However, that contradicts the findings of its own report produced by Fusion GPS, a D.C.-based opposition research firm linked to the Democratic Party, which concluded that CMP's edits “removed likely irrelevant content” from the videos.

Another analysis conducted by Coalfire, a forensics firm that does analysis for criminal investigations, and paid for by the pro-life Alliance Defending Freedom, concluded, “The video recordings are authentic and show no evidence of manipulation or editing.”

CMP is dismissing the lawsuit as a “frivolous” attempt to divert attention from its own criminal wrongdoing.

“Planned Parenthood is under investigation by the United States Congress and multiple law enforcement agencies, while their business is drying up and the public is turning against their barbaric abortion for baby parts trade,” CMP said. “Now they are filing a frivolous lawsuit in retaliation for CMP’s First Amendment investigative journalism that has done nothing more than tell the truth about Planned Parenthood’s lawless operations.”

“This last-ditch move of desperation is going to expose all of the sordid dealings of the California Planned Parenthood affiliates to the light of the legal system, and the public will see them for the corrupt abortion and baby body parts profiteers that they really are,” the group said.

Congresswoman Diane Black said she was not surprised by Planned Parenthood's resort to legal maneuvering. 

“This is the Planned Parenthood way,” said Congresswoman  Black, R-TN.

“They are confronted with a horrific truth they cannot defend,” she said. “It won’t work.”

“These videos have been proven to be authentic – no matter how many times Cecile Richards says otherwise – and no one can deny that they clearly depict Planned Parenthood’s own employees, in their own words, offering stunning admissions of what happens behind closed doors,” she added.

“It is long past time to prevent taxpayers from being forced to foot the bill,” Rep. Black concluded.