It appears the highly publicized battle over undercover video recordings purporting to show Planned Parenthood selling fetal body parts is nowhere near over, as two pro-life activists behind the controversial clips were charged Tuesday with 15 felonies.
Just hours after the charges were announced, the pro-life group, The Center for Medical Progress, released yet another undercover video seemingly in response to the newfound legal battle.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced the charges against Center for Medical Progress founder David Robert Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, a woman who assisted in the video series that sparked widespread protests against clinic chain Planned Parenthood in 2015, igniting a debate over whether the organization was profiting off of the purported sale of fetal organs.
Becerra said Daleiden and Merritt used fake identities and created a faux bio-research company, recording private conversations with numerous individuals affiliated with Planned Parenthood. He proclaimed that California won’t “tolerate the criminal recording of confidential conversations,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
Since 14 people were allegedly recorded without their consent, the activists were charged with 14 separate counts of recording individuals without their permission and an additional count of “conspiracy to invade privacy,” the outlet noted.
But, it appears Daleiden isn’t willing to back down, as he released a scathing statement on Tuesday that pushed back against the charges and pledged to release additional videos showing “Planned Parenthood’s criminal baby body parts enterprise, in vindication of the First Amendment rights of all.”
Daleiden opened his statement by calling the California charges “bogus” and “fake news,” while also dismissing those behind the new case as “political cronies.”
“They tried the same collusion with corrupt officials in Houston, TX and failed: both the charges and the DA were thrown out,” he said. “The public knows the real criminals are Planned Parenthood and their business partners like StemExpress and DV Biologics — currently being prosecuted in California — who have harvested and sold aborted baby body parts for profit for years in direct violation of state and federal law.”
It is true that the similar charges filed against Daleiden and Merritt in Texas back in 2016 were subsequently dropped, as the statement noted.
Within hours of Daleiden’s response, the Center for Medical Progress was out with a new undercover video featuring yet another abortion provider named Dr. DeShawn Taylor, former medical director of Planned Parenthood of Arizona and a former provider at Planned Parenthood Los Angeles.
A Center of Medical Progress press release recaps some of the discussion that is captured in the edited video:
Dr. Taylor confirms she does elective abortions on healthy fetuses and pregnant women up to 24 weeks. When the investigators ask her about obtaining intact fetal organs, Dr. Taylor replies, “It’s not a matter of how I feel about it coming out intact, but I gotta worry about my staff and people’s feelings about it coming out looking like a baby.”
She continues, “We have the people who do our paperwork for the fetal death certificates, they email us calling them ‘babies’. Baby this, baby that, baby so-and-so, and I’m like, that’s creepy!”
Dr. Taylor explains to the investigators, “In Arizona, if the fetus comes out with any signs of life, we’re supposed to transport it. To the hospital.” When one investigator then asks, “Is there any standard procedure for verifying signs of of life?” Dr. Taylor replies, “Well, the thing is, I mean the key is, you need to pay attention to who’s in the room, right?”
At another point, Taylor said Arizona is “conservative” and that she tries to avoid sending full fetuses for cremation after performing abortions. She also seemingly proceeded to call the use of the term “baby” to describe the unborn as “creepy.”
“We have the people who do our paperwork for the fetal death certificates, they email us calling them ‘babies.’ ‘Baby this,’ ‘baby that’ ‘baby-so-and-so,” she said. “And I’m like, that’s creepy.”
Watch the video in its entirety below (caution: graphic and adult discussion and themes):
The new California charges are sure to reinvigorate debate and open up a new chapter in the ongoing undercover video battle that first unfolded back in 2015 when the Center for Medical Progress’ initial videos went viral that summer.
As for Planned Parenthood, the organization is pointing to the recent charges — and the fact that the organization has not been found guilty of any wrongdoing — to try and dismiss the Center for Medical Progress.
“The California Attorney General filing criminal charges sends a clear message that you cannot target women and you cannot target health care providers without consequences,” said Mary Alice Carter, interim vice president of communications for Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “We look forward to justice being served.”
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