Something intriguing happened just hours after a pro-life group released a shocking, new video showing abortion doctors and Planned Parenthood medical directors issuing some curious comments about abortion: The clip mysteriously disappeared.
The Center for Medical Progress, a pro-life group that has taken aim at Planned Parenthood in recent years, released the video along with a press release on Thursday. But by evening, the clip was no longer on YouTube after a judge reportedly ordered it be scrubbed.
It didn’t take long for an explanation to emerge, but before we get there, let’s revisit the back story. As Faithwire previously reported, Center for Medical Progress founder David Robert Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, a woman who assisted in the initial undercover video series that sparked widespread protests against clinic chain Planned Parenthood, are both facing felony charges in California.
Watch one of the undercover videos not pertaining to the current legal case below (caution: graphic themes):
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who announced the charges back in March, is accusing Daleiden and Merritt of using fake identities, creating a faux bio-research company, and recording private conversations with numerous individuals affiliated with Planned Parenthood. He proclaimed back in March that California won’t “tolerate the criminal recording of confidential conversations,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
As a result of the ongoing case, U.S. District Judge William Orrick had issued a preliminary injunction on videos that were produced during meetings held by the National Abortion Federation, a professional association of abortion doctors.
The NAF complained that the release of the videos would pose a danger to its members. An appeals court upheld that ruling, though Daleiden has likened the restriction on the release of videos to an assault on the First Amendment, the Associated Press reported.
So, after the release of the preview clip on Thursday that reportedly included portions of these videos, Orrick reportedly demanded that the video in question — and other long-form associated clips that were posted to YouTube — be taken down.
The video featured some shocking comments, including one from Dr. Susan Robinson of Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, who proclaimed: “The fetus is a tough little object. And taking it apart … on day one is very difficult.”
And a separate quote from Dr. Ann Schutt-Aine of Planned Parenthood of Gulf Coast seemingly addresses how abortions are sometimes conducted.
“If I’m doing a procedure and I’m seeing that I’m in fear that it’s about to come to the umbilicus, I might ask for a second set of forceps to hold the body at the cervix and pull off a leg or two so it’s not PBA (partial birth abortion),” Schutt-Aine proclaims.
The context of these remarks was not immediately clear, as the clip was heavily edited. For now, the footage is no longer available, though countless media outlets covered its contents before the removal.
Orrick is now considering holding Daleiden in contempt over the release, and has scheduled a June 14 hearing on the matter.
Watch another one of the undercover videos not pertaining to the current legal case below (caution: graphic themes):
Daleiden and his attorneys, Steve Cooley and Brentford J. Ferreira, will appear at the June hearing. The move comes just one day after the Center for Medical Progress announced that Cooley, a former Los Angeles County district attorney, and Ferreira, a former Los Angeles County deputy district attorney, would be taking up Daleiden’s case.
The lawyers argued in a statement on Thursday that the government’s case is based on politics and nothing more.
“Then-Attorney General, now U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, wielded unprecedented police power against a true American journalist while civil suits were already pending in Federal District Court concerning the same video-recordings,” Cooley said. “Public Records Act requests filed by [Steve Cooley and Associates] reveal the Attorney General’s real interest in this case is entirely political, meant to manipulate the law to do the bidding of their benefactors at Planned Parenthood.”
Ferreira argues that the videos were made in public locations and can’t possibly be considered “confidential,” with the attorneys dubbing the entire ordeal a “grossly politically motivated prosecution from the California Attorney General’s office.”
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