A long-embattled abortion industry giant once again faces legal action this week for statements made about the guerrilla journalists responsible for unearthing its fetal tissue profiteering.
Pro-life journalist David Daleiden filed suit Thursday against the Planned Parenthood Federation of America for allegedly defaming him and his media outlet over their viral reporting on the organization.
Daleiden and The Center for Medical Progress are responsible for a series of controversial undercover videos from 2015 that showed Planned Parenthood leadership allegedly negotiating the sale of aborted baby parts.
Planned Parenthood accused Daleiden and The CMP of conducting a “false smear campaign” in the resulting public relations fallout, according to a news release announcing the lawsuit.
Daleiden, however, said public officials had confirmed the veracity of his content in sworn deposition testimony from a separate 2019 civil suit.
“Planned Parenthood admits my videos are true when under oath in federal court, but when speaking to the public, Planned Parenthood lies and calls the videos fake,” Daleiden said. “I have put my life on hold for five years to report, with video evidence, the trafficking of aborted infants that I and others witnessed at the highest levels of Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry.
“It is time for Planned Parenthood to face the truth,” he added.
The undercover videos of Planned Parenthood leadership allegedly discussing the sale of aborted human baby parts were initially released after 30 months of undercover work.
Daleiden has recently started to release deposition footage of the organization’s leadership admitting that the videos were true to bolster his argument as well:
🚨NEW VIDEO: Planned Parenthood leadership UNDER OATH admits use of criminal partial-birth abortions to harvest babies intact and alive for marketable body parts:https://t.co/KgsVz8gLYH
— David Daleiden (@daviddaleiden) August 24, 2020
The lawsuit, filed by the Thomas More Society in New York’s Southern District, alleges Daleiden suffered reputational damages, personal humiliation and mental anguish as a result of Planned Parenthood’s public response to his videos, according to Fox News.
“They called The Center for Medical Progress project a manufactured smear campaign,” Thomas More Society vice president and senior counsel Peter Breen told The Western Journal.
“That is both false and defamatory, harmful to David Daleiden, to The Center for Medical Progress in doing their work to be able to advocate, to be able to work in the public space, to seek change in the areas of fetal tissue trafficking and otherwise.”
“As we went through five years of litigation, Planned Parenthood entirely receded from any claim that the videos were somehow doctored or manufactured in court. And when the time came to put up evidence in court, they actually went the other way and agreed to a stipulation that the words spoken on the videos were entirely true, that they were the words of the Planned Parenthood personnel,” Breen added.
“But in the public, outside the courtroom, they were making these very false and harmful statements and, so, we are now in court to set the record straight and get a declaration from the court that what they’ve said is false, and get them to retract.”
The plaintiff, who has defended himself as a citizen journalist, wants PPFA to pay him and his organization $75,000 in damages.
Planned Parenthood conversely secured roughly $2 million in damages last year after suing Daleiden for fraud, trespassing and illegal video recording. Defamation was not included in Planned Parenthood’s causes of action.
“These baseless claims are not new. They are just another desperate attempt by a discredited source to get publicity,” PPFA senior vice president of communications and culture Melanie Newman said in an emailed statement to The Western Journal.
“Last fall, a jury — with all of the facts fully presented to it — decided that David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress intentionally broke the law in a multi-year, malicious campaign to advance their goals of banning safe, legal abortion in this country, and preventing Planned Parenthood from serving the patients who depend on us. The result: Daleiden was ordered to pay millions of dollars in damages. And, he still faces criminal charges.”
Daleiden is filing a similar defamation claim in Colorado against a former Planned Parenthood doctor, and previously sued California Sen. Kamala Harris, arguing she conspired to violate his civil rights by charging him with criminal eavesdropping when she was California’s attorney general.
According to Breen, the slew of high-profile lawsuits extends beyond damages, serving as an accountability measure.
“Even in the lawsuits we had in San Francisco, the judge refused to let us put on the abundant evidence that Planned Parenthood was making a profit off of the sales of fetal parts and organs of aborted babies,” Breen told The Western Journal. Planned Parenthood “took advantage of that in its public statements,” he said.
“Well, they can’t avoid accountability for that in this lawsuit.”
“In this lawsuit, the issues will be front and center,” he added.
“The truth of The Center for Medical Progress project is now able to be established in open court with Planned Parenthood on the other side having to answer for their false claims.”
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