Judge bans release of undercover videos from abortion association
by Leigh Jones
Posted 8/03/15, 11:15 am
The National Abortion Federation (NAP) on Friday won a court injunction to bar the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) from releasing any undercover video footage gathered at its meetings.
Judge William Orrick in San Francisco said the association representing abortionists likely would suffer irreparable harm “in the form of harassment, intimidation, violence, invasion of privacy, and injury to reputation” if CMP released its footage.
CMP, a new pro-life group, sent shockwaves through the abortion industry three weeks ago when it released its first video of undercover footage taken during meetings with Planned Parenthood executives. In multiple videos, abortionists discuss prices for baby body parts with actors posing as fetal tissue buyers. Selling fetal tissue is a federal crime, but Planned Parenthood leaders claim the tissue transactions are donations funded by procurement fees.
Despite Planned Parenthood’s claims of following the law, even staunch supporters admit the videos are a problem. Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton called the videos “disturbing.”
Later today, the Senate plans to vote on a bill that would revoke any federal funding for Planned Parenthood, an effort that has regained momentum since CMP started releasing its videos.
In a statement issued after Friday’s ruling, CMP founder David Daleiden said the National Abortion Federation’s suit is nothing more than an attempt to hide the truth about what it does.
“The Center for Medical Progress follows all applicable laws in the course of our investigative journalism work,” the statement said. “The National Abortion Federation is a criminal organization that has spent years conspiring with Planned Parenthood on how to violate federal laws on partial-birth abortion and fetal tissue sales. The Center for Medical Progress will contest any attempts to suppress our First Amendment rights to free speech or silence the freedom of the citizen press.”
Daleiden initially said CMP would release one video a week for several months, but the recent court rulings could disrupt that schedule. Earlier last week, tissue collection company StemExpress won an emergency injunction against CMP, preventing the group from releasing recordings made during a meeting with its top executives.
The National Abortion Federation also named Troy Newman, who sits on CMP’s board and heads Operation Rescue, as a defendant in its suit. Newman said the legal action is telling.
“This suit is a panicked attempt to prevent the truth from being told about NAF involvement in profiteering from aborted baby remains,” he said. “It is really a cover-up of potential evidence of their own wrong-doing. They obviously have a lot to hide.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Leigh lives in Houston with her husband and daughter. She is the news editor for The World and Everything in It and reports on education for WORLD Digital.