David Daleiden, the investigative journalist who exposed Planned Parenthood’s baby body parts trade, is finding support from some unlikely allies as he fights in court for journalistic freedom.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), 20 state attorneys general and others recently filed legal briefs supporting Daleiden and the freedom of the press, his legal team said this week.
“What at first may appear to be a case of ‘politics making strange bedfellows’ is actually an indicator of how widespread the concern is over the abrogation of First Amendment rights …” they said in a statement.
Earlier this month, Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress filed an appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, challenging a 2019 verdict in favor of Planned Parenthood.
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.
Keep up with the latest pro-life news and information on Twitter. Follow @LifeNewsHQ
On March 5, the Ninth Circuit received a series of friend of the court, or amicus, briefs supporting Daleiden’s case, including one from PETA and another from a California district attorney who shut down two of Planned Parenthood’s business partners after they admitted to selling aborted baby body parts.
“David Daleiden investigated the trafficking of aborted baby body parts by going undercover – a standard practice in journalism,” said Peter Breen, senior counsel for the Thomas More Society, which represents Daleiden. “Rather than receiving awards for exposing deadly and illegal conduct that threatened public safety, David was slapped with this heavy-handed lawsuit in San Francisco federal court.”
PETA, Animal Outlook, Mercy For Animals, Inc., and the Government Accountability Project supported Daleiden’s freedom of the press arguments in their brief to the court.
The coalition said they have “a strong interest in ensuring that individuals remain able to use undercover methods to investigate and report on matters that might otherwise remain unavailable or inaccessible to the public, continuing an American tradition of important journalism conducted using undercover techniques.”
Notably, lawyers with Liberty Council, which represents fellow CMP investigator Sandra Merritt, said no other citizen journalist or journalism group has ever been charged with a crime for undercover recordings made in the public interest in California.
Twenty attorneys general and former Orange County District Attorney Anthony Rackauckas also filed a brief supporting the CMP journalists’ case. They said the lower court was wrong that there was “no evidence of actual criminal wrongdoing” in the undercover videos.
They pointed to Rackauckas’s actions shutting down two Planned Parenthood partners as well as investigations of Planned Parenthood by U.S. Congress and state and local governments. And they mentioned Texas lawmakers’ success in defunding Planned Parenthood after the state Office of the Inspector General found that the abortion chain “violated federal regulations by altering abortion procedures to harvest baby body parts.”
The attorneys general who are supporting Daleiden represent Arizona, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.
The pro-life organizations Americans United for Life and Live Action, as well as Judicial Watch, Inc., Project Veritas and Project Veritas Action Fund also filed briefs supporting his appeal.
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.
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 the judge 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.
Daleiden’s attorneys also 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.
Daleiden said their real “crime” in Orrick’s courtroom was being pro-life.
His 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.
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.