Following explosive videos released by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) in 2015 alleging to show Planned Parenthood agreeing to sell the body parts of aborted fetuses, the national debate over abortion and Planned Parenthood’s federal funds was renewed.
The videos sparked a fierce response from both sides of the political aisle, with a number of Republican politicians calling for Planned Parenthood to be investigated, and liberals immediately declaring that the videos were deceptively edited.
A forensic analysis from Fusion GPS, a Democrat opposition research firm found the videos to be deceptively edited – while a separate independent analysis from Coalfire Systems found no evidence of wrongdoing. Fusion GPS is also the firm behind the widely-ridiculed anti-Trump dossier that Buzzfeed published back in January, so you can decide for yourselves who you think is more trustworthy when it comes to validating the authenticity of the videos.
Since then, there’s been a lengthy legal battle between Planned Parenthood and the CMP. In January 2016, Planned Parenthood was cleared of any wrongdoing, and two CMP employees (David Daleiden and Sandra Meritt) were indicted on felony charges of tampering with a governmental record by making a fake driver’s license, and one misdemeanor count related to purchasing human organs (as if they were actually trying to). Those charges were eventually dropped – but today they had even worse luck.
The state charged David Daleiden, the founder of the Center for Medical Progress, and Sandra Merritt for their roles in the release of a series of undercover videos that showed Planned Parenthood employees appearing to negotiate the price of aborted fetal body parts. Profiting from the sale of human body parts — including those of the unborn — is illegal in the United States. Planned Parenthood has denied illegal conduct.
According to the AP, prosecutors said Daleiden and Merritt “filmed 14 people without permission between October 2013 and July 2015 in Los Angeles, San Francisco and El Dorado counties.” The state filed one felony count for each person filmed and a 15th charge for “criminal conspiracy to invade privacy.”
In a statement, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said, “The right to privacy is a cornerstone of California’s Constitution, and a right that is foundational in a free democratic society.
“We will not tolerate the criminal recording of confidential conversations,” Becerra said.
Daleiden said in a statement that “the bogus charges from Planned Parenthood’s political cronies are fake news.”
“They tried the same collusion with corrupt officials in Houston, Texas, and failed: Both the charges and the DA were thrown out,” he said. “The public knows the real criminals are Planned Parenthood and their business partners like StemExpress and DV Biologics — currently being prosecuted in California — who have harvested and sold aborted baby body parts for profit for years in direct violation of state and federal law.
Following the charges, the CMP released more video, this one showing a Planned Parenthood abortionist describing how she tries to make the fetuses she aborts not look like babies (by dismembering them) as to not offend the sensibilities of her staff and the patient.
At one point in the footage, the abortionist Dr. DeShawn Taylor explains the difficulties she encounters when a baby she attempted to abort emerges from the procedure showing signs of life: “In Arizona, if the fetus comes out with any signs of life, we’re supposed to transport it. To the hospital.”
When asked if there is “any standard procedure for verifying signs of life?” Taylor responds by saying, “The key is, you need to pay attention to who’s in the room, right?”
Well, that’s certainly admission to breaking the law, is it not? It’s certainly a greater violation of the law than filming her is – that’s for sure. Or at least, one would think.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]