ACLJ Brings Big Abortion Case to Supreme Court
The American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ) filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court of the United States on behalf of Troy Newman requesting that the Court review the case involving the undercover investigation of the abortion industry conducted by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP).
Troy Newman is a former CMP board member and is one of the defendants in the lawsuit filed by the National Abortion Federation (NAF) to prevent the release of the information obtained during the investigation.
Following in the tradition of other investigative journalists, CMP conducted a two-year undercover investigation of fetal tissue procurement companies and abortion providers. Investigators videotaped conversations at various locations including at two NAF conferences.
In July 2015, CMP began releasing a series of videos, including both the full video footage of recorded conversations and excerpted “highlight” videos, of senior abortion providers discussing practices such as profiting from the sale of baby body parts and altering abortion methods to procure fetal specimens.
The videos and the abortion industry practices they uncovered shocked the conscience of the American public. From the release of the first video until the present, there has been enormous public interest concerning what the videos exposed about Big Abortion.
The release of the CMP videos prompted the United States Senate and House of Representatives to conduct two, year-long investigations into the selling of fetal tissue. Committees from the Senate and House issued final reports this past December and made multiple criminal and regulatory referrals to federal, state, and local entities for further investigation.
After the release of the CMP videos, NAF filed suit in federal court in San Francisco seeking to prevent the release of additional videos. The trial judge entered an injunction barring the publication of any recordings made, or information learned, at the NAF conferences. Recently, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the injunction, although one judge dissented in part.
Under the injunction, the defendants are forbidden from voluntarily disclosing to law enforcement agencies, other government bodies, and the general public any of the recordings or other information obtained at the NAF conferences that corroborate the results of the congressional investigations.
The injunction is the reason the “public version” of the ACLJ’s cert. petition contains redactions of the information contained in the enjoined materials.
We are asking the Supreme Court to accept review of this case. The Ninth Circuit’s decision conflicts with decisions of the Supreme Court as well as other courts. It is a prior restraint upon speech about matters of significant public interest, including evidence of possible criminal, illegal, and unethical acts.
The general public, law enforcement, and government bodies have a right to receive this information about the abortion industry (as do defendants in providing it), and we are working to ensure that happens.
We will continue to keep you posted on this important case, in addition to the ACLJ’s other pro-life work.