Defending Those Investigating the Abortion Industry | American Center for Law and Justice
  Search  |  Login  |  Register

ACLJ Profile Completion

Verified

Defending Investigators of Abortion Industry

By ACLJ.org1476974466989

A recent federal court hearing highlighted the importance of protecting the First Amendment rights of investigative journalists – in this instance, individuals exposing illegal and unethical acts of abortion providers and fetal tissue procurement companies and researchers – as well as the public’s right to contact law enforcement to report what they believe to be evidence of criminal activity.

As you likely recall, several videos released by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) last summer gave the American public a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the gruesome world of buying and selling the body parts of aborted babies. For example, one Planned Parenthood doctor laughed while saying, “I want a Lamborghini” after haggling over the price of specific types of fetal organs and body parts, while another admitted that abortion clinics are “happy” to “do a little better than break even” when it comes to the sale of fetal body parts if they can “do so in a way that seems reasonable.”

Under federal law, it is a felony punishable by up to ten years imprisonment “to knowingly acquire, receive, or otherwise transfer any human fetal tissue for valuable consideration if the transfer affects interstate commerce.” Obtaining enough money to talk about buying a Lamborghini (which costs $200,000 or more), or obtaining enough money to do better than break even, is evidence of illegal profit (i.e., receiving more money than the cost of transporting, preserving, storing, etc. the fetal tissue). As such, the statements, in addition to being morally abhorrent, are admissions of criminal activity, drawing the attention of Presidential candidates along with numerous legislators, state Attorneys General, and other government officials across the country.

In light of the widespread public outrage over the specter of a commercial marketplace for babies’ body parts, the United States House of Representatives formed a Special Investigative Panel to investigate fetal tissue procurement and related abortion practices. An ACLJ colleague has summarized an 88-page report that the Panel issued about its shocking findings. And recently, a California district attorney’s office filed a lawsuit against two companies, alleging that they sold “fetal body parts for a profit of more than $1.5 million.”

Ever since the first CMP video was released, Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Federation (NAF) have waged a legal and public relations battle against CMP, attempting to silence the group and discredit its work. This includes the filing of two federal lawsuits in which the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) represents a former CMP board member.

In one of those cases, a federal court has – since last July – prevented CMP from revealing what it learned during its undercover investigation of NAF meetings. A recent oral argument at the court of appeals was divided into two parts: a public session that lasted 83 minutes, during which the attorneys were not permitted to discuss the specific details of what CMP learned while attending NAF meetings, and a session that was closed to the public during which such details could be discussed.

One of the main topics of discussion during the public part of hearing was CMP’s constitutional right to speak freely upon a topic of public concern. The Supreme Court’s Pentagon Papers case was mentioned frequently; there, the Court rejected the federal government’s request to enjoin the Washington Post and the New York Times from publishing a classified study concerning the United States’ decision-making concerning Vietnam and the conflict there. The Supreme Court in that case noted that “prior restraints” – gag orders that prohibit speech before it occurs – bear “a heavy presumption” of being unconstitutional. Such orders are rarely upheld, especially when they prevent speakers from talking about matters of great concern to the public, such as illegal and unethical practices within a regulated profession.

Another subject of debate at the hearing was the right of CMP (and the public in general) to freely share information about possible criminal activities with the police or other government investigators. For over fifteen months, the injunction has prevented CMP from giving what it believes to be significant evidence of crime, and a willingness to engage in it, to law enforcement. This prompted the Attorneys General of fourteen states to file a brief explaining the bad precedent that would be set by eliminating a private individual or group’s ability to freely communicate with law enforcement regarding potential wrongdoing, and an Assistant Attorney General appeared at the hearing to further address this argument.

We are hopeful that the court of appeals will vacate the injunction and allow CMP to speak freely – with the general public and with law enforcement – about what it uncovered during the course of its investigation.

We will continue to keep you updated as these cases progress and our advocacy continues.

Stop Harvesting Aborted Babies’ Organs

Pro Life  Signatures

LOGIN

Receive the latest news, updates, and contribution opportunities from ACLJ.

$20
$40
$60
$120
$240
Make this a monthly tax-deductible gift.

We're aggressively battling in Congress and in federal court to defeat big abortion. Your gift today – of any amount – could save a life.

Receive the latest news, updates, and contribution opportunities from ACLJ.

If you are experiencing any issues with our donation form, please click here


Please encourage your friends to sign and donate by sharing this petition.
Latest in
Pro Life

Big Abortion is Proof that Nero is Alive

By Nicole Smith1487348741784

There has been a veil cast across society. A mirage so effective it’s nearly impossible to look through and see the reality of our present circumstances. TeenVogue, a publication targeting young teen girls, gave us a small glimpse of our true reality when it published its “Post Abortion Gift...

read more

Planned Parenthood’s Spin Factory

By Nicole Smith1486585585940

There are moments in life that you come across something that just confounds your senses, where you pause momentarily to try to soak in exactly what you’ve just witnessed. Does it match your worldview or is it in direct violation? Does it pluck at your heartstrings genuinely or is it fundamentally...

read more

Today We March for Life

By ACLJ.org1485522000000

Today tens of thousands of Americans gather in our nation’s capital to stand for the sanctity of human life at the 2017 March for Life . The March for Life comes at a critical time. In recent days, we have seen legislative efforts to protect the sanctity of human life. We're encouraged by the...

read more

US House Passes No Funding for Abortion

By Olivia Summers1485444511918

Earlier this week, in a 238-183 vote, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 7 – the No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion Act . This is a significant, bipartisan step forward for the pro-life movement and toward protecting the sanctity of every single human life. H.R. 7 is the formal codification...

read more