A federal jury awarded Planned Parenthood $870,000 in damages this week in relation to the undercover videos released in 2015 by guerrilla journalists, which sparked accusations that the organization was illegally selling fetal remains.
According to Courthouse News Service, David Daleiden and co-defendant Sandra Merritt were found responsible for trespassing and other crimes over their unorthodox journalistic efforts to expose the abortion giant, who they believed to be illegally profiting from the sale of fetal tissue for medical research and potentially killing babies born alive following botched abortions.
“A San Francisco jury found that a citizen journalist and pro-life activist caused substantial harm to Planned Parenthood by secretly taping conversations with abortion doctors and staff in a bid to prove they were harvesting and selling fetal body parts,” Fox News noted in its reporting on the story.
Daleiden, who leads the Center for Medical Progress, and Merritt posed as fetal tissue procurers with the fake research company BioMax, famously leaking hidden-camera footage from an investigation of the tissue procurement process.
The bombshell footage would lead to investigations of Planned Parenthood’s practices in 13 states, Fox reported, as well as the abortion giant’s eventual decision to stop accepting any sort of payment for research-related fetal tissue.
But Planned Parenthood’s lawyers argued before the San Francisco jury that the pair’s unorthodox tactics did not constitute journalism, and that they should not by any means be protected under the First Amendment.
Verdict is in: Jury finds David Daleiden and CMP liable in their undercover journalism of Planned Parenthood for millions of dollars in damages for the work they did to expose organ harvesting on live babies: pic.twitter.com/g5sZ5we09e
— Thomas More Society (@ThomasMoreSoc) November 15, 2019
The pair’s goal had not been “to find crimes, and it was not about journalism,” Planned Parenthood’s legal team argued.
It could not possibly have been about revealing to the American people what went on behind closed doors at an organization that received more than $1.5 billion from the federal government between 2013 and 2015, according to a Government Accountability Office report.
“It was about using any means, including illegal means, to destroy Planned Parenthood,” the organization’s lawyers told the jury.
Of course, how could a jury possibly be expected to assess the journalistic merits of the effort when Obama-appointed U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick III overruled the presentation of any of Daleiden’s findings as evidence before arguments even began in October?
That’s a rhetorical question.
It simply couldn’t.
In Daleiden’s own words, “Justice was not done.”
“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 trying to influence the jury with pre-determined rulings and suppressed the video evidence,” the defendant said in a statement following the ruling.
Justice was not done today in San Francisco. Top @PPFA witnesses swore the videos are true #PPSellsBabyParts but PP-founder Judge Orrick spent 6 weeks influencing jury with arbitrary rulings and suppressed key evidence. Dangerous attack on #1A as CA bans speaking truth to power!
— David Daleiden (@daviddaleiden) November 15, 2019
In fact, in terms of justice, this was a calculated and forcibly induced miscarriage.
Though that’s something Planned Parenthood is beyond familiar with.
In an era where the establishment media and Democratic Party consistently virtue-signals the importance of journalists and whistleblowers in the political process, a pro-life whistleblower and journalist is being forced to pay damages for inflicting undue burden on an organization that allegedly engaged in the sale unborn children’s remains.
The hypocrisy is borderline unfathomable.
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