The investigative journalists who exposed Planned Parenthood’s baby body parts trade are fighting back in court, appealing a $16 million verdict in favor of the abortion chain.
On Monday, the Center for Medical Progress announced its lawyers filed an appeal with the Ninth Circuit Court on behalf of David Daleiden and other CMP investigators, seeking to overturn the decision.
“Planned Parenthood got caught selling aborted baby body parts in the undercover videos, and their fetal trafficking programs have started to be held accountable,” Daleiden said. “Yet because of a biased federal judge, who previously helped run a Planned Parenthood clinic in the fetal trafficking network, Planned Parenthood has been allowed to sue me and CMP for successfully reporting the facts …”
Planned Parenthood, a billion-dollar abortion chain, won its lawsuit at a jury trial in 2019. The abortion group accused Daleiden and CMP of more than a dozen crimes, including trespassing, breach of confidentiality, wiretapping and conspiracy. Notably, it did not accuse the pro-life investigators of defamation.
The jury and Judge William Orrick, who has ties to Planned Parenthood, awarded the abortion group $16 million in the case.
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In the appeal, Daleiden’s lawyers said the ruling poses a threat to the freedom of the press guaranteed in the First Amendment. They pointed out that Planned Parenthood never proved in court that the Center for Medical Progress videos were false or defamatory; quite the opposite, its lawyers admitted the videos were authentic.
“In allowing Planned Parenthood’s case to go forward without proving the video reporting was false, Judge Orrick denied CMP’s First Amendment rights and protections for speech, blocked significant discovery on Planned Parenthood’s fetal research practices, and forbade any defense based on the truth of the video reporting,” according to the Center for Medical Progress.
It noted that Orrick also excluded the expert testimony of Dr. Forrest O. Smith, an abortionist who testified in favor of CMP even though he is not pro-life. Smith agreed that the videos uncovered evidence of infants being delivered alive and killed through organ harvesting at Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood accused Daleiden and CMP of “fraud” and “breach of contract” because the undercover investigators posed as employees of a non-existent fetal tissue procurement company, used fake IDs and recorded people without their permission.
But his lawyers said the IDs were creative props that were never used for government identification purposes, and the recorded conversations were in public areas where third parties easily could overhear them. They noted that the judge refused to allow the defense to play full videos of these conversations to the jury.
CMP accused Orrick of bias, pointing to evidence that he helped to open a Planned Parenthood in San Francisco that brought in $100,000 per year to a non-profit center that Orrick directed. Previously, Daleiden asked that Orrick be disqualified from the case, but he said the judge refused to step down or disclose his relationship with Planned Parenthood.
Charles LiMandri of LiMandri & Jonna, special counsel to the Thomas More Society and lead counsel in the case, said Daleiden and the other investigators deserve praise for their courageous work.
“Instead, a biased trial court hamstrung their defense with extremely one-sided rulings resulting in a monstrously unjust verdict in favor of Planned Parenthood,” LiMandri said. “We are looking forward to finally obtaining justice for our heroic clients through the appellate process. Ultimately, it is Planned Parenthood that must answer for its heinous crimes against humanity.”
Harmeet Dhillon of the Dhillon Law Group, which also is representing Daleiden and CMP, said the future of investigative journalism could rest on the Ninth Circuit’s decision.
“This unprecedented, draconian treatment of undercover journalists amounts to selective censorship and punishment of pro-life views,” she said.
Daleiden said their real “crime” in Orrick’s courtroom was being pro-life.
“The animus against free speech about abortion and fetal trafficking was palapable in Judge Orrick’s courtroom, where no evidence against Planned Parenthood would be admitted and the real ‘crime’ is being pro-life,” he said. “This judgment does not reflect equality or fairness and puts freedom of the press and the rule of law at risk for all Americans. This judgment must be reversed.”
Daleiden and the CMP investigation did a lot of damage to Planned Parenthood when they revealed the abortion giant’s baby body parts operation. Not only did it raise concerns about potentially illegal sales of human body parts, but it also uncovered evidence of abortionists allegedly putting women’s lives at risk by altering abortion procedures to better harvest aborted baby parts. The investigators also found evidence of possible patient privacy violations.
These findings prompted investigations by the U.S. House and Senate, as well as a number of states. The House and Senate investigations both recommended that the Department of Justice investigate Planned Parenthood after finding strong evidence that the abortion chain broke the law. The Department of Justice is investigating.
Two of Planned Parenthood’s business partners in Orange County, California also admitted to selling aborted baby body parts in a $7.8 million settlement with the county district attorney’s office.
However, 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. 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 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.