The beleaguered abortion industry got some help Monday in its fight to prevent the release of sensational undercover videos – one of which may include evidence of infants born alive and then killed – from a California judge who ruled he was extending his order prohibiting public release of certain video evidence by the Center for Medical Progress.
The order came from Judge William H. Orrick, who was nominated to his post by President Obama and has strong financial links to him, having been both a major donor and bundler for Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. Orrick raised at least $200,000 in that effort and donated $30,800 to committees supporting Obama, according to Public Citizen, the Federalist reported.
He extended his order that prevents the CMP from releasing videos it acquired by going undercover to the National Abortion Federation and recording comments and conversations there.
At Monday’s hearing, Orrick barred the group through Aug. 27 from releasing those recordings.
Orrick expressed worries about “people’s privacy” and what he called the history of “violence” against abortionists.
As Bob Egelko reported in the San Francisco Chronicle, the CMP described its work Monday as legal investigative journalism, saying the NAF videos were just part of its extended series exposing illegal activity.
Earlier videos in the series reveal Planned Parenthood executives negotiating over prices for various body parts of unborn infants. Federal law bans the sale of such body parts.
Planned Parenthood has denied that it profits from sales of baby parts, and looks only to cover costs associated with processing the “tissue.”
A lawyer for the CMP pointed out that a confidentiality pledge should not apply to recordings made in public areas “where there is no expectation of privacy,” but Orrick disagreed.
The organization has said it followed all applicable laws in making the undercover recordings of NAF and other organizations.
After the CMP started releasing its undercover work – four videos already have been made public – the National Abortion Federation was one of two abortion interests to go to court to preemptively try to suppress public airing of their own statements.
As WND reported, NAF, in its court move, claimed it was seeking to protect “the safety and security of our members.”
“That security has been compromised by the illegal activities of a group with ties to those who believe it is justifiable to murder abortion providers,” said NAF President Vicki Saporta in an announcement about the filing. “CMP went to great lengths to infiltrate our meetings as part of a campaign to intimidate and attack abortion providers.”
Saporta provided no support for her claim that CMP is tied to “those who believe it is justifiable to murder abortion providers.”
The other case in which statements reportedly obtained by the CMP are targeted for suppression was filed by StemExpress. There, a Los Angeles Superior Court ordered that a hearing be held in a few weeks on whether those can be released.
In response to that move, CMP said, “StemExpress, a for-profit company partnered with over 30 abortion clinics, including Planned Parenthood, to harvest and sell aborted baby parts and provide a ‘financial benefit’ to Planned Parenthood clinics, is attempting to use meritless litigation to cover-up this illegal baby parts trade, suppress free speech, and silence the citizen press reporting on issues of burning concern to the American public.”
The statement continued, “They are not succeeding – their initial petition was rejected by the court, and their second petition was eviscerated to a narrow and contingent order about an alleged recording pending CMP’s opportunity to respond. The Center for Medical Progress follows all applicable laws in the course of our investigative journalism work and will contest all attempts from Planned Parenthood and their allies to silence our First Amendment rights and suppress investigative journalism.”
StemExpress claimed unfair competition, breach of contract, interference with contractual relations, fraudulent inducement of a contract, receipt of stolen property and invasion of privacy. The complaint explains that after the meeting with undercover videographers in a public restaurant, StemExpress insisted that a confidentiality agreement would be imposed.
StemExpress also said it “offers [the] largest variety of raw material in the industry, as well as fresh (non-frozen) and cryopreserved human primary cells” and that it works with 30 “procurement sites.”
It was in an interview with CNN that CMP chief David Daleiden give his view as to why StemExpress was so concerned.
He said, in an interview during which the CNN reporter was combative, that his StemExpress, which partners with Planned Parenthood to dissect unborn babies and remove the most valuable body parts, is trying to suppress “a specific video recording of a meeting with their top leadership where their leadership admitted they sometimes get fully intact fetuses shipped to their lab from the abortion clinics.”
“That,” he said, “could be prima facie evidence of born-alive infants. That’s why they’re trying to suppress that and they’re very scared of it.”
See the interview:
“Fully intact fetuses” – who logically could not become “specimens” without somehow having first met their demise – could be protected by the Born Alive Infant Protection Act adopted in 2002.
To date, the video investigation has resulted in at least eight states beginning investigations of Planned Parenthood. Several congressional committees are doing the same, and on Monday the Senate narrowly failed to approve a ban on federal money for Planned Parenthood, which promises to keep the fight looming in Washington.
Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia said the videos were just too much.
“I am very troubled by the callous behavior of Planned Parenthood staff in (the) recently released videos,” he explained, “which casually discuss the sale, possibly for profit, of fetal tissue after an abortion. Until these allegations have been answered and resolved, I do not believe that taxpayer money should be used to fund this organization.”
From statements by Planned Parenthood officials that ranged from “I want a Lamborghini” to discussion about how to salvage certain saleable parts by crushing surrounding parts, the videos are self-explanatory.
An old story
WND also has reported that as horrific as the videos appear, they should surprise no one, since such practices have been documented for nearly two decades already.
One price list uncovered by a pro-life organization dated June 1998 shows that the price per specimen from a second trimester abortion is $90 fresh and $130 frozen.
Mark Crutcher, whose Life Dynamics organization was a ground-breaker in investigating the abortion behemoth that gets some $500 million annually from U.S. taxpayers, worked on that investigation.
His group reported back in February 2000 how the baby parts market works: “A baby parts ‘wholesaler’ enters into a financial agreement with an abortion clinic in which the wholesaler pays a monthly ‘site fee’ to the clinic. For this payment, the wholesaler is allowed to place a retrieval agent inside the clinic where he or she is given access to the corpses of children killed there and a workspace to harvest their parts.”
He continued: “The buyer – usually a researcher working for a medical school, pharmaceutical company, bio-tech company or government agency – supplies the wholesaler with a list of the baby parts wanted. … when such orders are received … they are faxed to the retrieval agent at the clinic who harvests the requested parts and ships them to the buyer.”
The documentation was provided at that time to Life Dynamics by a worker who left Comprehensive Health for Women, a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Overland Park, Kansas.
Among the documents was a “Fee-for-Services” Schedule A, effective June 1998, which outlined a charge of $220 per specimen for first-trimester aspiration abortions and $260 if the baby parts were frozen.
Crutcher’s report, citing Planned Parenthood’s own paperwork, found that one agent sold during February 1996 alone 47 livers, 11 liver fragments, seven brains, 21 eyes, eight thymuses, 23 legs, 14 pancreases, 14 lungs, six arms and one kidney-adrenal gland.
He also sold three orders of blood from the unborn child. The retrieval agent “harvested all of the parts,” the report said, explaining that “in order for the blood of an aborted child to be sold, the dead baby had to be brought to him intact.”
The “specimens,” the report said, would have generated up to about $25,000 in revenue for one month from one retrieval agent at one Planned Parenthood business.
Crutcher reported that the tissue logs reveal that one baby is often chopped up and sold to many buyers.
For example, babies taken from donors 113968 and 114189 were both killed late in their second trimester and cut into nine pieces. By applying the price list, buyers would have been invoiced between $3,510 and $5,070 for these parts, he said.