We have recently joined a motion in an ongoing abortion industry lawsuit asking a federal court to require critical documents concerning Big Abortion’s sale of aborted babies’ body parts to be turned over.
In 2015, the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) released a series of videos that showed senior abortion providers openly discussing practices such as profiting from the sale of fetal body parts and altering abortion methods to procure fetal specimens. The videos were the result of a two-year undercover investigation of fetal tissue procurement companies and abortion providers, which included the use of hidden cameras and microphones at abortion industry conferences and meetings.
Seeking to keep CMP’s evidence out of the public eye, the National Abortion Federation (NAF), Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), and numerous Planned Parenthood affiliates filed lawsuits against CMP and several individuals associated with it. The ACLJ represents Troy Newman, a former CMP board member who is also the President of Operation Rescue, in both lawsuits.
In light of CMP’s investigative reporting, the United States Senate and House of Representatives launched investigations into illegal, unethical, and immoral practices within the abortion and fetal tissue procurement industries. The Congressional investigators held hearings, reviewed thousands of pages of documents, reviewed many hours of CMP’s public and non-public video footage, and conducted witness interviews.
The resulting House Report and Senate Report contain shocking, first-hand evidence of unconscionable criminal and illegal actions by abortion providers and fetal tissue procurement companies. The reports contain, among other things, evidence of profiting from the sale of fetal organs (including the payment of bonuses for procuring organs that were highly sought after by researchers), altering abortion procedures for financial gain, performing illegal partial-birth abortions, killing newborns who survived attempted abortions, failing to obtain informed consent for fetal tissue donations, and fraudulent overbilling practices.
The Congressional investigators asked various law enforcement and regulatory bodies to investigate the offending organizations for possible criminal prosecution. As a result, the Department of Justice has been reportedly investigating Planned Parenthood, several other abortion providers, and fetal tissue procurement companies. Additionally, in December 2017, a $7.8 million court settlement was filed in California under which DaVinci Biosciences, LLC and DV Biologics, LLC admitted liability for their role in the unlawful sale of fetal tissue and stem cells for profit.
In the Planned Parenthood lawsuit, one of the key issues is whether (and the extent to which) Planned Parenthood and its affiliates violated the law by, among other things, profiting from the sale of fetal organs, illegally altering abortion procedures to secure more fetal tissue, performing partial-birth abortions, killing born-alive infants, and failing to obtain proper consent for fetal tissue research. Although Planned Parenthood and its affiliates have repeatedly claimed that they have never violated the law, they have refused (for the most part) to provide documents and information concerning these issues.
Recently, several of the Defendants—including CMP, its founder David Daleiden, and our client Newman—filed a motion asking the Court to require Planned Parenthood to turn over the improperly withheld documents and information. The motion sets forth several legal arguments concerning why the documents and information must be provided, and asks the Court to either (1) hold that CMP’s allegations of illegal conduct by the plaintiffs will be assumed as true for purposes of the litigation, or (2) require Plaintiffs to produce the withheld documents and information.
We are hopeful that the Court will grant our motion on this critical issue. We will continue to keep you informed about this important case, in addition to the ACLJ’s other pro-life work.
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