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Court Battles Continue Over Planned Parenthood Videos

Wednesday, July 05, 2017 @ 02:00 PM Court Battles Continue Over Planned Parenthood Videos ATTENTION: Major social media outlets are finding ways to block the conservative/evangelical viewpoint. Click here for daily electronic delivery of The Stand's Daily Digest - the day's top blogs from AFA.

Anne Reed AFA Journal MORE

David Daleiden, the 28-year-old man who produced two years of undercover videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s potentially illegal practices, has been under fire for well over a year. Just when the heat let up, a muddle of federal charges erupted. 

Daleiden and his associate Sandra Merritt, of Center for Medical Progress, were indicted in Texas in January of 2016 for charges related to their undercover work. The charges included a felony for using fake IDs and a misdemeanor for offering to buy fetal tissue. 

I know it’s been a while, but let’s just remind ourselves how crazy this is. The abortion giant appearing to negotiate prices and illegally profit from fetal tissue gets off scot-free, while the undercover group exposing the truth is charged and dragged through the mud for months on end.  

You would think Planned Parenthood would still be dealing with legal challenges or be closed altogether in light of the evidence provided through the stellar investigative work of CMP. Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards stated repeatedly that the CMP tapes are “deceptively edited.” Though full unedited videos have been made available, her repetitious detraction seemed to do the trick for the vast majority of our corrupt and inadequate legislators. Not only is Planned Parenthood still in operation, but our tax dollars continue to undergird the wretched organization.   

The Texas charges against Daleiden and Merritt were eventually dismissed last summer. But that celebration was short lived. The duo learned in March that they were facing 15 felony charges in the state of California for "intentionally and without the consent of all parties" recording "confidential" communications. 

In addition, a gag order was placed on Daleiden and Merritt to prevent them from releasing any further videos to the public or law enforcement – a blatant attack on the First Amendment and the constitutional separation of powers. 

In response, CMP posted a statement on their website: 

Planned Parenthood’s barbaric abortion business, and their political cronies and tyrannical judicial sycophants, cannot cover up these videotapes and stifle free and informed public discussion. CMP will continue to fight this unconstitutional abuse of power and vindicate our First Amendment rights and those of all citizen journalists to speak and publish on matters of urgent public concern. 

In April, then California Attorney General Kamala Harris, an avid, outspoken supporter of Planned Parenthood, ordered a raid on Daleiden's apartment. His laptop, hard drives, and unreleased undercover videos were seized. 

Just last month, Daleiden and his criminal defense lawyers released additional video of abortion providers speaking at trade shows sponsored by the National Abortion Federation, of which PP comprises about 50% of members and leadership. 

The video reveals abortionists describing the gruesome details of the procedure. In a comfortable environment of fellow hired guns, they spoke unabashedly about their experiences:  

  • The baby in the womb is a “tough little object” that is very difficult to take apart.
  • When the skull is broken, that’s really sharp. I understand why people are talking about getting that skull out – that calvarium (audience laughs at her usage of the typical whitewashed term).
  • An eyeball fell in my lap, and that was gross (roaring laughter follows). 

As in other previously released videos, a number of abortionists discussed adjustments made to the abortion to accommodate requests for intact skulls and other body parts. Lifesitenews is one of the few sites still posting the video. 

The footage was quickly removed from YouTube and nearly every other media site. In addition to the existing 15 felonies, talk ensued of a federal judge holding Daleiden and his criminal defense lawyers in contempt of court for releasing the latest video as well as the names of his accusers. 

"Every video recording for which the Attorney General is charging David was obviously and unquestionably made in a public place,” said Daleiden’s criminal defense lawyer Brentford Ferreira,where it could not possibly be considered 'confidential.’ The only difference between David’s conduct and that of undercover video journalists every day in the state of California is the fact that he recorded the political backers of the state’s top prosecutor."

The court seemed to agree. As of this week, all but one of the 15 felony charges against Daleiden and Merritt were dismissed. Insufficient evidence was available to argue invasion of privacy. Curiously, the pair is left with one count of conspiracy to invade privacy.

While their attorneys consider the dismissal a monumental victory, they will continue to fight for dismissal of the residual charge and prepare for any other potential legal battles.

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