Undercover journalist David Daleiden faced a major setback today in San Francisco’s U.S. District Court after a jury handed down a multi-million dollar (over $2.2 million) verdict under the federal Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organizations (RICO) law, among others, in favor of abortion giant Planned Parenthood.
The Thomas More Society has defended Daleiden against Planned Parenthood since the multibillion-dollar abortion provider sued him for exposing the corporation’s role in alleged illegal baby body parts trafficking. The lawsuit was brought by Planned Parenthood Federation of America and ten of its abortion affiliates after Daleiden’s 2015 release of a series of investigative videos that exposed the underbelly of the fetal tissue trade.
“This lawsuit is payback for David Daleiden exposing Planned Parenthood’s dirty business of buying and selling fetal parts and organs,” declared lead Thomas More Society defense attorney Peter Breen. “We intend to seek vindication for David on appeal. His investigation into criminal activity by America’s largest abortion provider utilized standard investigative journalism techniques, those applied regularly by news outlets across the country.”
“David’s findings revealed practices so abhorrent that the United States Congress issued criminal referrals for Planned Parenthood, and numerous states and elected officials have moved to strip it of funding,” continued Breen. “Rather than face up to its heinous doings, Planned Parenthood chose to persecute the person who exposed it. I am fully confident that when this case has run its course, justice will prevail, and David will be vindicated.”
Tom Brejcha, Thomas More Society President and Chief Counsel, noted that the implications of this lawsuit go far beyond “exposing the evils of the abortion industry.”
“This case puts the constitutionally guaranteed right to free speech on trial. It tests the sacred tenet of freedom of the press,” Brejcha explained. “Planned Parenthood decided that it was above the law. Planned Parenthood was wrong, and I am confident that we will win on appeal.”
The civil trial, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc.et al v. Center for Medical Progress et al, was argued before Judge William H. Orrick III and the verdict handed down by a panel of 10 jurors.
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Attorneys from the Thomas More Society continue to defend Daleiden in an ongoing California state criminal trial over the same video exposes. People of the State of California v. David Robert Daleiden and Sandra Susan Merritt is being heard in the Superior Court of California County of San Francisco, California, by Judge Christopher Hite. Daleiden is being prosecuted by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, after being initiated by his predecessor, current Democratic Presidential candidate Kamala Harris, both of whom have been closely allied with, and supported by, Planned Parenthood.
The Thomas More Society successfully defended pro-life activist Joseph Scheidler in the seminal RICO lawsuit, NOW v. Scheidler, winning repeatedly at the Supreme Court to overturn the trial court decision in that case, 8-1 in 2003 and unanimously in 2006.
A copy of the jury’s verdict form can be found here.
Coverage and background on this case and related cases in which the Thomas More Society is defending Daleiden for his exposé of Planned Parenthood’s alleged participation in trafficking baby body parts can be found here.