Two anti-abortion activists affiliated with California-based Center for Medical Progress (CMP) have been charged in California with a 15-count felony indictment for their role in secretly recording top officials and physicians with Planned Parenthood discussing the sale of fetal tissue from aborted infants.
In announcing the charges against CMP employees David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra told reporters the state of California would not tolerate the “criminal recording of confidential conversations.”
The pair are charged with 14 counts of illegally recording Planned Parenthood employees without consent, one count for each person recorded, and one charge of conspiracy.
Made over a period of 30 months and released in 2015, the videos capture Daleiden and Merritt, both of whom posed as representatives of a fake biotechnology company, expressing an interest in purchasing fetal tissue with ranking employees and physicians with Planned Parenthood.
The release of the videos first exposed in July 2015 inspired outrage at what appeared to be Planned Parenthood harvesting and selling aborted baby parts for profit.
Planned Parenthood immediately denied wrongdoing and sued Center for Medical Progress in 2016 for defamation.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion provider and is a recipient of over $500 million in federal funds to remain in existence.
This whole indictment smacks of politics over justice and amounts to nothing more than an assault on investigative journalism.
Let’s be above board here: Although California law criminalizes recording individuals without consent, the law has never been applied to journalists until the Golden State allowed its politics of defending an abortion provider to overthrow equity under the law.
So flimsy are these politically-charged citations, a similar indictment in Texas against the pair was dismissed by a district judge in 2016 after prosecutors reluctantly revealed organ transfers involved payment, an activity Planned Parenthood was routinely immersed in.
It is, however, the pious sermonizing from Planned Parenthood which has taken center stage: From the moment these videos emerged in the summer of 2015, the abortion group has repeatedly relied on three fundamental lies in its damage-control operation.
Planned Parenthood contends the CMP videos were “heavily edited;” it never profited from the harvesting of fetal tissue; and babies were never born alive and killed for their tissue.
In dismantling the first utter fiction of Planned Parenthood’s defense, two independent research firms, Fusion and Coalfire, which carefully examined the videos, concluded the video evidence had not been substantially manipulated.
The second canard related to Planned Parenthood’s defense, money never exchanged hands for fetal tissue, is demolished by Dr. Debra Nucatola’s own words: Nucatola is plainly heard on CMP videos uttering:
“You could call them up and say, ‘I’ll pay you double the money,’ and they’re almost more inclined to say no, because it’s going to look bad. . . . I think for affiliates, at the end of the day, they’re a non-profit, they just don’t want to — they want to break even. And if they can do a little better than break even, and do so in a way that seems reasonable, they’re happy to do that.”
Nucatola later reveals the most sought-after fetal tissue, livers.
Last, Planned Parenthood has clung to the falsehood live births after botched abortions are nonexistent. This lie was exposed by StemExpress employee, Holly O’Donnell, one of the many with links to Planned Parenthood’s nefarious activity, explaining a day in the life of a Planned Parenthood-run clinic in San Jose, Calif.
O’Donnell went on to describe tapping a heart of an infant, relaying: “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.”
After Daleiden and Merritt spilled Planned Parenthood’s deepest, darkest secrets, the organization embarked on a hollow, blitz campaign to salvage its tattered reputation and immediately reversed its policy of accepting recompense for fetal tissue.
Moreover, Planned Parenthood’s gruesome tactics were further exposed by a former employee who stated she had indeed been involved in harvesting fetal tissue for profit.
So explosive were the videos, the matter landed in front of the House Oversight Committee, which questioned precisely why Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards would apologize for the content of conversations if no wrongdoing occurred on the part of the abortion provider.
In a heated exchange seen below, Ohio Republican Jim Jordan, who defined the videos as “barbaric and repulsive,” confronts Richards over her statements after the CMP videotapes were made public, and successfully transformed the affair from revolting videos to a larger issue over the fact Planned Parenthood receives $500 million in tax dollars.
Cornered by the truth, Richards repeatedly dodges questions posed by Jordan and eventually offers the ludicrous explanation the matter is one in which she and Jordan will “have to agree to disagree on.”
Richards later testified under oath conversations capturing Planned Parenthood employees on video were not “confidential,” as California’s indictment alleges, since discussions were conducted in public places.
Despite Richards’ unconvincing arguments in defense of the organization she leads, abortion is the law of the land.
Recent polls illustrate positions on abortion are split by party affiliation, but similar polling on the abortion issue reflect many remain committed to seeing the federal government continue support for the group by a 2–1 margin.
While one can contest the structural validity of a poll, its questions or its sample audience for example, it is fair to suppose opinions on the abortion question have been shaped by Planned Parenthood’s successful campaign to shift attention away from its abortion service and trumpet contraception, cancer screening and other health services, expressly for females, and frame calls for defunding the group as an attack on women.
Although a preposterous position, Planned Parenthood’s policy change in October 2015, in which it announced it would no longer accept payment for fetal tissue, is an implicit admission of the group’s lawlessness and should serve as cause to revoke further funding of tax dollars to the abortion giant.
Despite the absurdity of the charges brought about by Xavier Becerra, who is, unsurprisingly, a benefactor of Planned Parenthood’s largess, which means federal tax dollars are funding Democratic politicians, these charges are likely to be dropped.
This recent event in a two-year saga could provide Planned Parenthood with a moment for much-needed introspection: To avoid further controversy and public relations nightmares, Planned Parenthood would be wise to adopt a policy of relying on a team of committed experts devoted to raising private funds to keep the group afloat.
While some Planned Parenthood supporters recoil in horror at the prospect of government bounty removed, imagine the hyperventilating on the Left if the National Rifle Association was receiving an annual gift of $500 million in tax dollars into its coffers.
[NPR] [Breitbart] [The Blaze] [Wall Street Journal] [Fox News] [LifeSiteNews.com] [The Hill] [Center for Responsive Politics] [Screenshot courtesy The Blaze]