SACRAMENTO, Calif. — It calls itself the Center for Medical Progress, and its name has been all over the news in the past few weeks after it began releasing hidden-camera videos that set off an uproar over the use of tissue from aborted fetuses in medical research.

But a review of the group and the small number of people associated with it in public filings suggests there is little to support the lofty sound of its title. The addresses it lists are postal drops in Sacramento and Irvine, and it employs no scientists or physicians engaged in advancing medical treatments.

The people named as its top officers are longtime anti-abortion activists.

The nonprofit organization is also facing legal and regulatory challenges: An abortion provider group is suing it over its clandestine tactics, and the California attorney general has accused it of falling behind on its fees and paperwork and has opened an investigation into its activities.

The center’s CEO defended the organization, saying it has been true to the mission it stated when it registered with the state for nonprofit status in 2013: to “monitor and report on medical ethics and advances.”

“CMP is proud of our investigative journalism work,” David Daleiden said in an email exchange with The Associated Press.

The group’s release of videos in which officials at abortion providers discuss the use of aborted fetuses for research has set off investigations into whether Planned Parenthood is profiting from the sale of fetal tissue – a claim it denies. The furor led to a failed attempt on Capitol Hill last week to cut off federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

In late July, the attorney general’s office sent it a delinquency notice saying it hadn’t paid the required fees for fiscal years 2013 and 2014 and hadn’t submitted necessary copies of its IRS forms. If CMP fails to remedy the situation within 30 days, it could lose its nonprofit status.

Vicki Saporta, president of the National Abortion Federation, said the Center for Medical Progress is simply a front for a few anti-abortion activists who set up sting operations to harass abortion providers. The federation won a restraining order against CMP in federal court, barring the release of additional videos secretly gathered.

“These are anti-abortion extremists who have an agenda to demonize abortion providers,” Saporta said.

The federation is also suing CMP and Daleiden, accusing them of conspiracy and trespassing.

The attorney general could be investigating whether the group acted outside its stated purpose in recording and circulating the videos, said Evelyn Lewis, who specializes in nonprofit law at the University of California, Davis.

But she said it is unlikely CMP violated the law, because its stated purpose is so broad and because the organization does not appear to be campaigning for any particular law or candidate.

“It’s not necessarily illegal for them to have an agenda,” Lewis said.

Based on its submissions to the IRS, the Center for Medical Progress took in less than $50,000 in 2014 and thus did not have to disclose its donors. IRS forms show Daleiden is the only salaried member, receiving $30,000 a year.

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