Judge Lifts StemExpress Restraining Order: Group Can Release Another Planned Parenthood Video

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 21, 2015   |   2:07PM   |   Washington, DC

In  another legal victory for the pro-life activists behind the expose’ videos that have caught Planned Parenthood selling aborted babies and their body parts for research, a judge has issued a ruling that the biotech firm StemExpress can’t block the Center for Medical Progress from releasing another video that shows what it does with aborted babies Planned Parenthood sells to it.

Today, Planned Parenthood itself threatened to sue CMP over the expose’ videos showing the abortion business selling aborted babies.

While the videos have focused on the Planned Parenthood abortion business, the biotech firm StemExpress, which buys and resells aborted baby body parts from the abortion giant, has filed a lawsuit seeking to block some information the Center for Medical Progress obtained in its three year undercover operation.

Last month, a court in California blocked the pro-life group from releasing any videos regarding certain meetings of the middleman, StemExpress.  The restraining order does not apply to the Planned Parenthood abortion business or even to StemExpress in its entirety, making it so additional videos were released.

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But the temporary restraining order did pertain to one key meeting the undercover activists filmed and prevented them from releasing a video with any information from it. Now, according to ABC News, the judge in the case has issued a ruling lifting that temporary restraining order:

A Los Angeles judge says free speech rights should allow an anti-abortion group to release secretly recorded videos of discussions with a California company that provides fetal tissue for research.

A tentative ruling Friday by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Joanne O’Donnell would dissolve an existing temporary restraining order blocking the Center for Medical Progress from releasing the videos.

The case arose as the center released videos of Planned Parenthood officials discussing providing aborted fetal organs for research. The company StemExpress then realized its officials also were recorded, and it pre-emptively filed suit to prevent those videos from being seen.

The judge says StemExpress likely will win its claim of privacy violations. But she says that doesn’t trump the center’s First Amendment rights.

UPDATE: 8/21 3:50 PM The ruling is now official. The court noted that even if Stem Express prevails on their Penal Code 632 cause of action, “there is nothing in [that code section that] prevents the publication of information unlawfully procured through unlawful privacy violations.”

Judge O’Donnell reversed the previous court order that prohibited the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) from releasing any video from a conversation with Catherine Dyer and other Stem Express employees that took place on May 22, 2015. Judge O’Donnell emphasized the importance of Daleiden and the CMP’s Constitutional rights in this case stating that “the proposed injunction would be a prior restraint on Defendant’s right to free speech under the First Amendment.”  This ruling paves the way for Daleiden and the CMP to publicize the conversation with Dyer and to continue to expose the ugly truth of fetal organ harvesting.

Catherine Short, Vice President of Legal Affairs for the Life Legal Defense Foundation and attorney for Daleiden and CMP commented on the court decision stating, “The legal impact of today’s ruling is huge, not only for the sake of exposing the truth about the secretive and lucrative business of trafficking fetal organs, but it is also a remarkable victory for free speech advocates.”

She told LifeNews: “Additional videos by Daleiden and the CMP should provide more evidence against Planned Parenthood and Stem Express.  Judge O’Donnell’s message will hopefully ring loud and clear that we as Americans have the right to engage in undercover journalism and expose the criminal actions of those who brazenly violate the law.”

This new victory follows on the heels of a decision from the judge saying StemExpress couldn’t take videos or documentation from CMP during its legal battle with the pro-life group.

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Attorneys with the pro-life Alliance Defending Freedom legal group told LifeNews that this is a victory for David Daleiden and CMP.

“People who don’t have anything to hide don’t go to court to stop journalists from reporting the truth. The court was right to deny StemExpress’ request to gain access to damaging material against them obtained through solid investigative journalism. Americans have the right to know the truth about Planned Parenthood’s sale of baby body parts and the ‘fiscal rewards’ Stem Express says that it provides to abortion clinics,” said Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund President Chuck LiMandri.

After the initial court decision, CMP talked about why StemExpress was attempting to keep it from releasing additional videos and information.

“StemExpress, a for-profit company partnered with over 30 abortion clinics, including Planned Parenthood, to harvest and sell aborted baby parts and provide a “financial benefit” to Planned Parenthood clinics, is attempting to use meritless litigation to cover-up this illegal baby parts trade, suppress free speech, and silence the citizen press reporting on issues of burning concern to the American public,” CMP said in a statement.

The group continued in its statement to LifeNews: “They are not succeeding—their initial petition was rejected by the court, and their second petition was eviscerated to a narrow and contingent order about an alleged recording pending CMP’s opportunity to respond. The Center for Medical Progress follows all applicable laws in the course of our investigative journalism work and will contest all attempts from Planned Parenthood and their allies to silence our First Amendment rights and suppress investigative journalism.”

Meanwhile, two committees in the House of Representatives have already launched investigations of Planned Parenthood. One committee is looking into whether or not the abortion business is breaking federal law by altering abortion procedures to better obtain aborted baby body parts for sale. Another committee, among other things, is investigating the Obama administration and whether there is any connection between it and the abortion giant.

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform was to know if the Obama administration, via the Department of Health and Human Services, provided any federal grants to Planned Parenthood that ultimately went to pay for the sales of aborted baby body parts and if they were used by Planned Parenthood to “support transactions involving fetal tissue.”

The expose’ videos catching Planned Parenthood officials selling the body parts of aborted babies have shocked the nation.

As LifeNews reported, the first video of undercover footage shows Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Senior Director of Medical Services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, describing how Planned Parenthood sells the body parts of aborted unborn children and admitting she uses partial-birth abortions to supply intact body parts.

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In the second video, Planned Parenthood doctor Mary Gatter discusses the pricing of aborted baby body parts — telling the biotech company officials that the prices for such things as a baby’s liver, head or heart are negotiable. She also tells the officials that she could talk with the Planned Parenthood abortion practitioners to potentially alter the abortion procedure to kill the baby in a way that would best preserve those body parts after the unborn child is killed in the abortion.

So far, 12 states have responded to the Planned Parenthood videos and launched investigations into their abortion and organ harvesting business including South Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, Massachusetts, KansasMissouri, Arizona, Indiana, Ohio, Georgia, Texas and Louisiana. The district attorney in Houston Texas is also investigating after the Houston-based Planned Parenthood abortion facility was caught selling aborted babies.

Congress has expanded its investigation into the Planned Parenthood abortion business and five states have revoked taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood’s abortion business, including Utah, Arkansas, Alabama, New Hampshire and Louisiana and Iowa’s governor has ordered a review of Planned Parenthood funding.

The full, unedited videos have confirmed that revelations that some aborted baby remains sold by Planned Parenthood go to biotech companies for the purpose of creating “humanized” mice. Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood has been exposed as having sold body parts from aborted babies for as much as 15 years.

The federal law that technically prohibits the sale of aborted babies and their body parts was written by a pro-abortion Congressman decades ago and essentially spells out a process by which sellers of aborted baby body parts can meet certain criteria that allows the sales to be legal. That’s why a Colorado congressman has introduced legislation to totally ban the sales of aborted baby body parts.