After a nearly two-month trial, on November 15th, a San Francisco jury ruled against David Daleiden, the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), its former board members, including our client, and the investigators in Planned Parenthood v. Center for Medical Progress.
This is the case filed by Planned Parenthood after CMP exposed Planned Parenthood’s horrendous abortion practices through CMP’s undercover investigation known as the Human Capital Project. The CMP videos that were made public shocked the country and led to Congressional investigations and Congressional referrals for criminal prosecutions over the sale of aborted baby body parts.
Evidence at trial included an abortion doctor admitting that they use specific techniques during abortion procedures to keep certain baby organs intact, and another stating that she “wanted a Lamborghini” as compensation for the sale of those organs. Unfortunately, however, the jury was repeatedly instructed by the Court to ignore any and all evidence of Planned Parenthood’s illegal and unethical acts, and was instead instructed to focus solely on the investigative techniques and methods used by the Defendants. The San Francisco jury ultimately found the Defendants liable to Planned Parenthood for trespass, fraud, illegal recording, breach of contract, and RICO violations. The jury entered a multi-million-dollar verdict against the Defendants.
The fight against Planned Parenthood, however, is not over. We plan to appeal this unjust verdict.
The First Amendment clearly protected the conduct of the Defendants, and courts have affirmed undercover journalists’ efforts to expose criminal practices. For example, a leading case held that the First Amendment prevents investigators from being held liable for "publication damages" from alleged torts committed without malice, which is required on defamation claims.
Defendants were exercising these same fundamental freedoms when they were exposing the crimes of Planned Parenthood. The only supposed harm that Planned Parenthood suffered was public backlash to the exposed horrific truths about their abortion practices.
This was not the first time that abortion clinics were exposed in their criminal behavior of selling fetal tissue. In fact, the well-known ABC News 20/20 exposé was even played for the jury. There, the ABC journalists went undercover with video cameras and recorded conversations with members of the abortion industry about prices of aborted baby organs.
Even though the CMP Defendants used the same recording tactics as in the 20/20 exposé, and numerous government investigations confirmed the existence of illegal and unethical practices within the abortion and fetal tissue procurement industries, the San Francisco jury ruled against them. The jury was told to ignore or give little weight to the relatively minimal evidence of such illegal acts that the Defendants were permitted to present.
Despite this temporary setback, the case is far from over. The ACLJ is not going to stop until we win this fight to protect the truth and American freedom. We ask that you stand with us as we move forward in the appellate court in this important case.
We're aggressively battling in Congress and in federal court to defeat the abortion industry. Your gift today – of any amount – could save a life.
While the debate in America over the issue of abortion remains a deeply divisive one, Americans of all political stripes have consistently found strong agreement on at least this one point: American taxpayers should not be forced to pay for abortions. According to a recent poll , 77% of Americans...
Next time you see your local mail carrier, ask them if they know they might be assisting in abortions. It sounds absurd and will likely throw them for a loop, but thanks to President Biden, any given envelope they’re sliding into a mailbox could contain abortion pills. We just took action to expose...
Arkansas has a law that makes it a crime to do an abortion for an invidiously discriminatory reason, namely, because the child in the womb has Down syndrome. At the request of abortion providers, lower federal courts declared the Arkansas law unconstitutional, and the state has requested the U.S.
This has been a pivotal week in the battle to defund Planned Parenthood. The Supreme Court dismissed three cases challenging the Trump Administration’s “Protect Life regulations” defunding millions from Planned Parenthood. At the same time, we filed a new formal public legal comment urging the...