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No mercy

Xavier Becerra (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/AP)


No mercy

Pro-life activists face charges for methods pro-abortion advocates have long hailed

When California Attorney General Xavier Becerra charged pro-life activists David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt with 15 felony counts for their undercover investigation of Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion forces, even the Los Angeles Times balked.

Over the past year, the newspaper has scorned Daleiden’s Center for Medical Progress (CMP) for its videos showing Planned Parenthood officials callously discussing prices for the remains of aborted children.

Still, the paper’s editorial board scolded Becerra for pressing criminal charges against Daleiden and Merritt for using methods often praised in other undercover investigations.


Associated Press/Photo by Bob Levey

David Daleiden (Associated Press/Photo by Bob Levey)

For example, the editors noted the paper has supported animal rights groups’ undercover exposés of practices at California farms. In 2015, local officials pressed animal cruelty charges against a Fresno poultry worker after the group Mercy for Animals released an undercover video shot at the farm.

The activists with hidden cameras didn’t face charges.

In CMP’s case, Daleiden and Merritt recorded conversations with individuals in pro-abortion groups in an attempt to expose the illegal sale of aborted baby parts. Since California is one of 11 states where both parties must consent to recording private conversations, the attorney general contends the pair violated the law. Daleiden’s attorney says since the recorded conversations occurred in crowded public settings, the discussions weren’t confidential.

Officials at Planned Parenthood hailed the charges against the pro-life pair, but pro-abortion groups have used similar undercover tactics against pro-life groups for years.

In Florida and Virginia, undercover activists used hidden cameras to record conversations at pregnancy care centers. When a reporter from the website Vice asked one activist how she faked pregnancy when visiting the centers, the activist bragged she brought urine from pregnant women.

In California, the abortion giant NARAL conducted a yearlong undercover investigation of dozens of pregnancy care centers in California. The group underscored its workers didn’t record conversations. Instead, NARAL trained volunteers to visit care centers and ask questions about abortion. After the visits, the volunteers (reportedly including at least one teenager) wrote down their versions of encounters.

NARAL used the self-reported accounts to claim pregnancy care centers regularly lie to women. Among the complaints: 70 percent of the pro-life workers called the fetus a baby. The report lamented that when women asked about their options, “the response from CPCs was frightening in its consistency: ‘You should have a baby no matter what.’”

Eric Kayne/Getty Images

Sandra Merritt (Eric Kayne/Getty Images)

Though NARAL didn’t record the California encounters, the group used the one-sided accounts from unnamed sources successfully: The California Legislature passed a bill mandating pregnancy care centers tell pregnant women about free abortions available through the state’s Medicaid program.

When it comes to CMP, California’s attorney general—who has received donations from Planned Parenthood’s political arm—was far more outraged over the purported invasion of privacy than the possible illegal practices involving unborn children.

One of the CMP videos showed Deborah Nucatola—a California abortionist and medical services director for Planned Parenthood—describing how abortionists try to kill an unborn child while leaving his or her organs intact for fetal tissue companies.

So while undercover videos of farm workers force-feeding ducks led California to ban the production and sale of fatty duck liver, apparently the same mercy doesn’t apply to unborn children.

“We’ve been very good at getting lung, heart, liver … so I’m not going to crush that part,” Nucatola said in the video. “I’m going to basically crush below, I’m going to crush above, and I’m going to see if I can get it all intact.”


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  • JDC
    Posted: Mon, 04/10/2017 06:36 pm

    California, go fall in the ocean!

  •  John Cogan's picture
    John Cogan
    Posted: Mon, 04/10/2017 09:42 pm

    Most people would argue for an even playing field, which is all CMP asks for. But as long as the mainstream media ignores the uneven field, only those reading WORLD and other pro-life sites will be aware of how the law is being unequally prosecuted. And by the way 'fetus' is the Latin word for 'baby.'