Undercover journalist David Daleiden defended secretly recording abortion workers Monday in court based on evidence that Planned Parenthood may be murdering newborn babies and selling their organs to researchers. And he described in court the gruesome ways in which aborted baby parts were harvested.
Daleiden and fellow investigator Sandra Merritt face felony charges for invasion of privacy in California after they exposed Planned Parenthood’s allegedly illegal sales of aborted baby body parts through a series of undercover videos.
Their preliminary hearing began two weeks ago with a witness for the abortion industry admitting that the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) videos were “not altered.” Then, a biotech company CEO who worked with Planned Parenthood could not deny that they harvested aborted babies’ hearts while they were still beating. The hearing will determine whether the case should go to a full trial.
On Tuesday, Daleiden defended his investigative methods to prosecutors with California Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s office. Much of the hearing centered around privacy issues and legal protections for whistle-blowers and journalists who uncover illegal activity.
Daleiden and Merritt posed as representatives of a company seeking to buy aborted baby body parts for scientific research projects. Using the disguise, they spoke with abortion industry workers at places like restaurants and a National Abortion Federation conference.
“Did part of those techniques include lying?” Deputy Attorney General Johnette Jauron asked Daleiden, according to Courthouse News.
“Lying means different things to different people,” Daleiden answered. Later, he added, “I knew I could do a more accurate and insightful investigation if I used undercover pretext.”
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The Center for Medical Progress described Jauron’s questioning as a “mischaracterization” of Daleiden’s previous testimony.
“In an attempt to catch Daleiden,” Jauron asked Daleiden if he turned off his camera when waiters walked up to the table or when they were crossing the street, according to CMP. “Daleiden respond[ed]: all in public places.”
He explained that he and Merritt recorded their videos in public settings, including restaurants and hotel common areas, to keep “within the boundaries of California law.”
No other journalists have been prosecuted for similar undercover investigations under California law, their lawyers contend. They believe their prosecution is politically motivated by politicians like Becerra and his predecessor, Kamala Harris, who received huge campaign donations from the abortion industry.
Here’s more from Courthouse News:
Recording people without their consent is a felony in California. Daleiden claims he was well-acquainted with California’s Recording Law and consulted with multiple attorneys as he prepared to launch his project. Jauron targeted those consultations in her questioning.
“Which lawyers told you it was OK to record people in California without their consent?” she asked.
Daleiden named at least six attorneys from conservative law firms like the Thomas More Society and Alliance Defending Freedom. Daleiden said they told him “nothing in California prohibited recording a nonconfidential communication.”
“In your consultations with these lawyers, surely someone told you abortion is not homicide in California,” Jauron said.
Daleiden answered, “I never described legal induced abortion as homicide. I was referring to fetuses being born alive. I was asking about the infanticide aspect.”
On Friday, Daleiden described talking with a whistle-blower named Holly O’Donnell, who used to work for StemExpress, a fetal tissue procurement company that had a close relationship with Planned Parenthood, according to Courthouse News.
In October 2013, Daleiden said O’Donnell told him that she had harvested body parts from a “fully intact” 25-week baby at a Planned Parenthood in Northern California.
“She cut open the baby’s face to harvest the brain,” his testimony continued, according to CMP. “Prior to doing that, her supervisor showed O’Donnell the baby’s beating heart.”
“I came to suspect StemExpress and Planned Parenthood of Mar Monte of homicide,” he said.
Tuesday is expected to be the final day of the preliminary hearing.
Becerra’s office asked for a gag order last week, but Judge Christopher Hite of the San Francisco Superior Court denied the request.
Hite also dropped several charges against Merritt after a witness failed to show up to testify.
Liberty Counsel founder and chairman Mat Staver said: “Each day of this hearing reveals that this case is frivolous and should be dismissed immediately. The state of California has abused the legal process by prosecuting Sandra Merritt when she did nothing wrong. The entire case should be dismissed.”
The undercover investigation exposed numerous atrocities inside Planned Parenthood abortion facilities across the U.S. Its findings prompted investigations by the U.S. House and Senate, as well as a number of states.
The committees concluded by recommending that the Department of Justice investigate Planned Parenthood. Both said they found strong evidence that the abortion chain broke the law. The Department of Justice is investigating.
Planned Parenthood repeatedly has denied all allegations of wrong-doing, and many news outlets now parrot its talking points that the undercover videos were deceptively edited or debunked, even though that is not true. An independent forensics investigation verified that the videos were authentic.
Some undercover videos show how Planned Parenthood employees callously and flippantly negotiated the price of tiny baby hearts, lungs, livers and brains. Other evidence indicates the abortion giant may have broken HIPAA patient privacy laws.
The expose videos catching Planned Parenthood officials allegedly selling the body parts of aborted babies have shocked the nation. Here is a list of all 14:
- In the first video: Dr. Deborah Nucatola of Planned Parenthood commented on baby-crushing: “We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.”
- In the second video: Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Mary Gatter joked, “I want a Lamborghini” as she negotiated the best price for baby parts.
- In the third video: Holly O’Donnell, a former Stem Express employee who worked inside a Planned Parenthood clinic, detailed first-hand the unspeakable atrocities and how she fainted in horror over handling baby legs.
- In the fourth video: Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Savita Ginde stated, “We don’t want to do just a flat-fee (per baby) of like, $200. A per-item thing works a little better, just because we can see how much we can get out of it.” She also laughed while looking at a plate of fetal kidneys that were “good to go.”
- In the fifth video: Melissa Farrell of Planned Parenthood-Gulf Coast in Houston boasted of Planned Parenthood’s skill in obtaining “intact fetal cadavers” and how her “research” department “contributes so much to the bottom line of our organization here, you know we’re one of the largest affiliates, our Research Department is the largest in the United States.”
- In the sixth video: Holly O’Donnell described technicians taking fetal parts without patient consent: “There were times when they would just take what they wanted. And these mothers don’t know. And there’s no way they would know.”
- In the seventh and perhaps most disturbing video: Holly O’Donnell described the harvesting, or “procurement,” of organs from a nearly intact late-term fetus aborted at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte’s Alameda clinic in San Jose, CA. “‘You want to see something kind of cool,’” O’Donnell says her supervisor asked her. “And she just taps the heart, and it starts beating. And I’m sitting here and I’m looking at this fetus, and its heart is beating, and I don’t know what to think.”
- In the eighth video: StemExpress CEO Cate Dyer admits Planned Parenthood sells “a lot of” fully intact aborted babies.
- The ninth video: catches a Planned Parenthood medical director discussing how the abortion company sells fully intact aborted babies — including one who “just fell out” of the womb.
- The 10th video: catches the nation’s biggest abortion business selling specific body parts — including the heart, eyes and “gonads” of unborn babies. The video also shows the shocking ways in which Planned Parenthood officials admit that they are breaking federal law by selling aborted baby body parts for profit.
- Unreleased Videos: Unreleased videos from CMP show Deb Vanderhei of Planned Parenthood caught on tape talking about how Planned Parenthood abortion business affiliates may “want to increase revenue [from selling baby parts] but we can’t stop them…” Another video has a woman talking about the “financial incentives” of selling aborted baby body parts.
- The 11th video: catches a Texas Planned Parenthood abortionist planning to sell the intact heads of aborted babies for research. Amna Dermish is caught on tape describing an illegal partial-birth abortion procedure to terminate living, late-term unborn babies which she hopes will yield intact fetal heads for brain harvesting.
- The 12th video in the series shows new footage of Jennefer Russo, medical director at Planned Parenthood in Orange County, California, describing to undercover investigators how her abortion business tries to harvest intact aborted babies’ bodies for a local for-profit biotech company and changes the abortion procedure to do so.
- The 13th video: exposes a Planned Parenthood medical director admitting that babies born alive after abortion are sometimes killed.
- The 14th video: catches Planned Parenthood executives discussing gruesome abortion procedures and the sale of body parts from aborted babies for profit.