Life Legal has backed Planned Parenthood into a corner over its illegal trafficking in baby parts. In ten days, Planned Parenthood will have to explain to Magistrate Judge Donna Ryu of California’s Northern District why it has refused to respond to interrogatories from Life Legal on behalf of the Center for Medical Progress.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and several Planned Parenthood affiliates sued CMP and its founder, David Daleiden, two and a half years ago in federal district court, asserting fifteen claims ranging from racketeering to invasion of privacy. Their lawsuit alleges that the videos showing Planned Parenthood doctors callously discussing the price of baby parts were “misleadingly edited” to make it appear that Planned Parenthood clinics were violating federal and state laws against profiting from the sale of fetal parts. Planned Parenthood claims it brought the lawsuit to “further expose the falsity” of the videos and recover millions of dollars in damages for the alleged harm the videos caused to Planned Parenthood by CMP’s allegations of criminal activity.
Now, however, Planned Parenthood is singing a different tune. Pressed by Life Legal attorneys to provide documents and explanations as to how much their actual revenues and expenses for fetal tissue procurement were, Planned Parenthood argues that “whether any of the four relevant affiliates complied with a technical law about permissible reimbursement” is not relevant to the lawsuit at all. They claim that questions about invoices showing that Planned Parenthood affiliates did in fact profit from the sale of fetal body parts have “zero bearing” on the issues in the case.
In short, Planned Parenthood and its affiliates sued alleging the videos falsely claimed they broke the law. Now that they are required to provide proof that the videos are “misleading,” they are claiming that whether or not they illegally profited from the sale of baby body parts is irrelevant. According to Planned Parenthood, all that’s needed to prove their case is their own statement that they did not make much money relative to the size of their organization.
“Planned Parenthood is mounting the ‘millionaire shoplifter’ defense,” said Life Legal Executive Director Alex Snyder. “They claim that their affiliates are so rich, they could not possibly have a profit motive for violating federal law, and therefore the CMP videos must be false. The court should see through this specious reasoning and order Planned Parenthood to provide documentation of its baby body parts revenue and expenses.”
The matter will be heard on July 19 at the Federal Courthouse in Oakland, California.