A federal jury in San Francisco has convicted the pro-life group Center for Medical Progress (CMP), along with its president, David Daleiden, of having violated a slew of state and federal laws when it secretly filmed Planned Parenthood employees admitting on camera to illegally harvesting and selling aborted baby body parts for fast cash.
This jury reportedly awarded Planned Parenthood “damages” of $2 million as a harsh punishment for CMP and Daleiden, which were convicted of engaging in fraud, trespassing, and illegal secret recording.
Even though Planned Parenthood was supposed to have faced its own federal charges for illegally trafficking the body parts of aborted human babies, the people of San Francisco feel as though Planned Parenthood was illicitly targeted by CMP and Daleiden for no good reason other than right-wing “extremism.”
“David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress intentionally waged a multi-year effort to manufacture a malicious campaign against Planned Parenthood,” claims Alexis McGill Johnson, the current acting president and CEO of Planned Parenthood.
“The jury recognized today that those behind the campaign broke the law in order to advance their goals of banning safe, legal abortion in this country, and to prevent Planned Parenthood from serving the patients who depend on us,” she added in a statement.
Johnson, as you may recall, wrote an op-ed that was published in The Wall Street Journal claiming that eugenicist Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood’s founder, didn’t hate black people, even though Sanger openly admitted that she considered African-Americans to be “human weeds.”
Pro-life defense lawyers say they’re absolutely going to appeal this decision because the “process was unfair”
This major blow to the pro-life movement isn’t going to be accepted lying down, as pro-life defense lawyers have already promised to appeal this grotesque decision.
Peter Breen, the lead defense attorney at the Thomas More Society, told reporters outside the courtroom following the decision that he plans to do whatever it takes to vindicate CMP and Daleiden, who are merely engaged in honest journalism.
“This lawsuit is payback for David Daleiden exposing Planned Parenthood’s dirty business of buying and selling fetal parts and organs,” Breen is quoted as saying.
“We intend to seek vindication for David on appeal. His investigation into criminal activity by America’s largest abortion provider utilized standard investigative journalism techniques, those applied regularly by news outlets across the country.”
In Breen’s view, this ruling out of San Francisco represents a “dangerous attack” on every American’s First Amendment rights. If the decision isn’t reversed, freedom of speech will officially be dead in the United States.
“David’s findings revealed practices so abhorrent that the United States Congress issued criminal referrals for Planned Parenthood, and numerous states and elected officials have moved to strip it of funding,” Breen contends.
“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.”
It’s also important to note that the presiding judge in the case, US District Court Judge William Orrick III, has direct ties to Planned Parenthood, and spent the six weeks it took to conduct the trial influencing the jury “with pre-determined rulings and by suppressing video evidence, all in order to rubber-stamp Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit attack on the First Amendment,” according to Breen.
“This is a dangerous precedent for citizen journalism and First Amendment civil rights across the country, sending a message that speaking truth and facts criticizing the powerful is no longer protected by our institutions,” said CMP in a statement.