In a miscarriage of justice, a federal jury ruled that Pro-Life activist and journalist David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) must pay the abortion business Planned Parenthood $2.3 million in damages. The lawsuit was brought by the nation’s largest abortion business, alleging that the videos brought harm to the brand and required them to engage security, a bogus claim. Daleiden and other journalists who went undercover to investigate Planned Parenthood were found guilty of fraud, trespassing, and illegal secret recording for the videos released in 2015.
The 10-person jury ruled on Friday that Planned Parenthood should receive $870,000 in punitive damages and up to $1.4 million in compensatory damages for the undercover videos, which were recorded between 2013 and 2015. Among other revelations, the videos show Planned Parenthood executives admitting to altering abortion procedures to procure intact organs – a federal crime – haggling over the price of baby body parts, and admitting that children are sometimes born alive in abortion procedures that aim to procure “intact specimens.”
Planned Parenthood, despite ongoing investigations, has yet to receive punishment for these horrific, inhumane, and illegal actions, and Daleiden and the Pro-Life journalists who exposed these atrocities are the ones facing serious and unjust repercussions. In a statement, CMP said the decision sets “a dangerous precedent for citizen journalism and First Amendment civil rights across the country, sending a message that speaking truth and facts to criticize the powerful is no longer protected by our institutions.”
CMP also noted that throughout testimony during the trial, Planned Parenthood confirmed the content of the videos, despite publicly calling them “deceptively edited” for years. Daleiden said, “Justice was not done today in San Francisco. While top Planned Parenthood witnesses spent six weeks testifying under oath that the undercover videos are true and Planned Parenthood sold fetal organs on a quid pro quo basis, a biased judge with close Planned Parenthood ties spent six weeks influencing the jury with pre-determined rulings and suppressing the video evidence, all in order to rubber-stamp Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit attack on the First Amendment.”
Planned Parenthood was pleased with the unjust results, tweeting, “We’re thrilled.” Planned Parenthood’s acting CEO and president Alexis McGill Johnson claimed in a statement, “David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress intentionally waged a multi-year illegal effort to manufacture a malicious campaign against Planned Parenthood,” although documenting the actual speech and actions of top Planned Parenthood executives is not “manufactur[ing]” evidence of criminal activity, but revealing wrongdoing.
Harmeet Dhillon with Dhillon Law Group, an attorney for Daleiden, said, “While we are disappointed in today’s verdict, we intend to pursue numerous issues on appeal. The jury worked with limited information and with a number of legal and factual outcomes predetermined by the Court.”
Another attorney for Daleiden, Peter Breen of the Thomas More Society, explained, “This lawsuit is payback for David Daleiden exposing Planned Parenthood’s dirty business of buying and selling fetal parts and organs. Rather than face up to its heinous doings, Planned Parenthood chose to persecute the person who exposed it. I am fully confident that when this case has run its course, justice will prevail, and David will be vindicated.”
In court, CMP noted that they were not the first group to expose Planned Parenthood for the lucrative and illegal trafficking of baby body parts obtained in abortions. 19 years ago, the ABC investigative program 20/20 ran a piece revealing one of many horrific sides of the abortion industry. Planned Parenthood wants to claim that CMP is politically motivated; the reality is that the passion for protecting preborn Life that Daleiden, Sandra Merritt, and the other journalists with CMP possess motivated them to expose the heinous injustice that so few have been willing to discuss.
Their Pro-Life values may be a strong motivating factor in CMP’s investigation, but Planned Parenthood has repeatedly failed to produce evidence that the abortion business did not further victimize and desecrate the innocent victims of abortion who died in their abortion mills. Whether the investigation hurt Planned Parenthood’s image is beside the point. America deserves to know the truth.