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September 10,2019 (LifeSiteNews) – In this special report, LifeSite Managing Editor Patrick Craine speaks with reporter Lianne Laurence who is on the ground in San Francisco covering the criminal case against pro-life investigators David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt. Laurence, a lifelong pro-life advocate, explains truly the horrific and heartbreaking testimonies given by the abortion advocates taking the stand.
Patrick Craine [00:00:06] Patrick Craine, Managing editor of LifeSiteNews bringing you a special report out of San Francisco where LifeSite has two reporters on the ground this week covering the criminal case against pro-life investigators. David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt. Daleiden and Merritt are both facing 15 felony charges brought by the attorney general of California after they exposed Planned Parenthood's sale of the body parts of aborted babies. The groundbreaking undercover videos, released in 2015, gave the world an inside view of the callousness and ghoulishness of the abortion industry. The videos prompted congressional investigations and have spurred state legislatures to pursue further restrictions on the abortion industry. But they also, naturally, provoked intense backlash from the abortion lobby including politicians and media. Now Daleiden and Merritt are facing significant jail time and fines for their heroic efforts. They're in the midst right now of a public preliminary hearing in the criminal trial brought against them by the state of California. Now LifeSite has our own Lianne Laurence in the courtroom this week in all of last week and she's being joined this week by our video editor Jim Hill. So to give you an inside track on the case we're going to talk to Lianne who's down right now in San Francisco's iconic Golden Gate Bridge. Hi Lianne. So you've been there all week and you'll be there for the rest of this week. Tell us what has been your your experience there what will what have you what have you seen happening in the courtroom.
Lianne Laurence [00:01:34] Well I would say that Peter Breen of the Thomas More Society said it best when he was saying that you know the abortionists caught undercover with David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt in their sting operation exposing the sale of baby body parts were far more candid when they were talking to them not knowing that they were being recorded. When they get into the court they actually decide not to say anything, they're very evasive, they're dodging questions, they don't want to really admit anything openly but on the other hand the videos of the undercover videos that were taken by these reporters are shown in the court and the evidence is incontrovertible that they are doing really horrific and gruesome things in order to obtain organs baby organs for sale.
[00:02:19] So the hearings, it's a preliminary hearing for the criminal charges against David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt. There are 15 charges. And it started on Tuesday with an abortionist known only as doe three testifying that she used digoxin in order to kill babies in the womb and how she loved her job and she boasted that she was a star in a documentary on late term abortion. So a lot of these testimonies are very, very chilling. And you just see that there's a really dark, dark world that David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt went into in order to obtain these very important exposé of what are illegal selling of baby body parts.
Patrick Craine [00:03:06] Now Lianne what is at stake here for David and Sandra.
Lianne Laurence [00:03:10] Well if they are convicted of these charges, this is preliminary hearings so the judge is going to decide if there's probable cause to continue to a criminal trial. If they are convicted they face ten years in prison for this. And it's very ironic because they're the ones who've exposed what is essentially illegal activities on behalf, on the part of the abortionists and the abortion industry to sell baby body parts which is a felony and also a number of other of questions arising. Did they perform the partial birth abortion which is also illegal? Did they have babies born alive which they are obliged to resuscitate under federal law? So it's ironic that David and Sandra are facing criminal charges when they're the ones who've exposed criminality on the part of the abortion industry.
Patrick Craine [00:03:58] And the you know the judges instituted the publication ban right. Can you talk a bit about that and how that's protecting the abortionists in this case.
Lianne Laurence [00:04:09] My understanding of the judge's order is that yes he's ordered the names of the 14 does who are accusing David and Sandra of eavesdropping on their conversations and of reporting or recording confidential information. Their names have been sealed. So in essence they don't really know who their accusers are. However a lot of the information is available online. And. You know people who really want to know who the does are can see that even what's going on in the court can be reported on. So if we're reporting that the for example the president of Stem Express CEO has admitted to supplying fetal heart tissue to Stanford University and where they're using a technique that requires a beating heart. People can realize that even though she's referred to in the court as doe 12 it's quite apparent who she is. Another case is doe 9 she was the one in the very first video which really shocked people because she was admitting over lunch that she would convert the baby's position to breach in order to obtain an intact calvarium or head and that Planned Parenthood abortionists do all sorts of things in order to obtain intact fetal organs which they then therefore sell.
[00:05:34] So, in a certain sense the order is rather strange because we can't reveal the names and yet the judge doesn't want to restrain First Amendment rights and so anything that goes on in the hearings can be reported. So it's somewhat easy to cross reference who these actors are. On the other hand. They're accusing Daleiden David and Sandra of things which they could end up in jail for 10 years and so it doesn't seem exactly fair that their names aren't out there and that we're not permitted to actually publish their names.
Patrick Craine [00:06:10] Yeah. Now, Lianne, you've reported on a couple a couple of key admissions in the trial one from one of the Planned Parenthood abortionists who you just referenced to who had admitted to babies being born alive during this procedure. I know you reported what a statement that in this procedure where they where they deliver the baby and then and then kill them in order to take the body parts that they have a 2 percent failure rate in basically killing these babies. What was what was the reaction to that in the courtroom?
Lianne Laurence [00:06:45] Well. It's hard to say I mean in the court it's very very quiet. I would say that there are people who. It just reveals the callousness of the abortion industry. What struck me is that the abortionist when she was on the stand. You know she's very genteel. She's very proud of her work. She's she goes out of her way to sort of be cooperative with the questioning. And yet when it gets right down to it she's dodging every single question you know when she's pinned to sort of saying well could this conversation have been overheard,I don't understand the question. I'm not really sure. Are you asking me to speculate in that kind of thing? It's hard to see in the court itself what the reactions are because. It's kind of a, kind of a clinical environment in a way. I personally found one of the most shocking admissions to be one, when Peter Breen of the Thomas More society was asking doe 12, who is the president of Stem Express, about procuring heart tissue for Stanford University. And Peter Breen said the kind of technique that they use as the Langendorff technique which is or it's the Langendorff of perfusion and it requires a living heart. And it just seemed at that moment I couldn't believe what I was hearing and she didn't really want to admit that I mean he pressed her and pressed her and he finally had to do it through kind of a number of steps because he said well did they provide heart tissue to Stanford University.
[00:08:25] It's here on the study at Stanford University, the study says the tissue was provided by Stem Express but she really didn't want to admit it. But finally she said yes, yes. Because, she didn't want it minute she said because the researchers are being targeted. She was worried that researchers being targeted naturally the judge at that point said well I've ruled the question to be pertinent you know it's it's it's part, it has an objective to it. But he said you know answer the question if a can. And then she said well we do provide heart tissue to Stanford University School of Medicine.
[00:09:04] Another one at yes. The part about the 2 percent failure rate. I mean this was the abortion or this was doe number three who did late term abortions for many years. And is that sort of celebrity abortionist. So she she insists that you know she uses the digoxin and she calls it didging. You know I didged babies so that I don't have to worry about having a life birth occur. But yeah there's two percent. And Doe number nine who also said when she was being pressed about babies being born alive, she said, well you know digoxin doesn't always work. So of course there's always the possibility that even if you think the baby is dead that you've killed the baby in utero the baby could be born alive.
Patrick Craine [00:09:50] Interesting what you're saying with the clinical atmosphere of the courtroom because that's what came across you know when I read that quote in your story about how they have a 2 percent failure rate in this procedure that they use to kill the baby so that they don't the babies are born alive. It just it just struck me like there's a 2 percent failure rate in killing a baby. You know how much more clinical can you get in describing and describing this is just utterly ghoulish reality you know.
Lianne Laurence [00:10:18] Oh yeah. No it's true it's not even just I guess it's not a clinical it's just extremely callous. I mean they're they just regard these they're not babies to them you know they're just they're essentially merchandise.
[00:10:30] It's like OK well you know what are we gonna do with it. It's it's really chilling it's so chilling and it's so dark to hear these abortionists describe how they're going about pulling babies apart in order to preserve intact organs. You know I I don't know. How anyone can hear that and not be convicted that the abortion industry is such such a horrifying is such a horrifying thing and that you know. We really, really, really have to appreciate what David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt and the Center for Medical Progress have done here. What they have done has revealed the ugliest ugliest part of the abortion industry abortion itself is such a horrific crime. And then to actually take the organs of these tiny victims and sell them is is well really I mean it's. Let's face it it's diabolical, the whole thing it's really diabolical and we really have to appreciate I think what David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt have done. And now they're facing 10 years in jail for these very courageous undercover videos that they've produced.
Patrick Craine [00:11:42] Now, Lianne, you know, you've been involved in the pro-life movement for decades.You're a veteran you know and even reporting reporting for us for many, many years on many of these things but what has been your personal experience of being in the courtroom. Your reactions to things seen this in light of your experience your past experience.
Lianne Laurence [00:12:00] Well my personal reaction so far is that yes this is just so dark. And also there's such, there's such liars such liars. I don't know if I can say that you know because they are avoiding questions there are they don't want to know when they're pinned down in court. They they don't want to say what they've done I mean it certainly. Why wouldn't they accuse Daleiden David and Sandra of. Why wouldn't they accuse David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt of you know recording their confidential information because of course they would want to keep it confidential. I mean it's just horrific what they're doing and I'm sure. And hopefully one day it will be proven to be illegal because they seem to simply, I don't know, I mean it's just hard to describe. How very gorrifying it is.
Patrick Craine [00:13:00] Yeah. Absolutely. Lianne so there's three more days of hearings in the criminal case this week right.
Lianne Laurence [00:13:12] Yes. There's the criminal hearing is expected to go for a Tuesday to Friday of this week. It might spill over into next week if the testimonies are taking a little bit longer than they expect. I think that the defense is going to be calling David Daleiden to the stand and I believe that they're going to have their own experts coming up this week. Last week we heard the prosecution's witnesses who were cross-examined by the defense lawyers. So that's going to carry on for four days at least. We also have today in San Francisco a preliminary hearing for a civil case. Not only are David and Sandra facing criminal charges. There's a civil case that Planned Parenthood has launched against the Center for Medical Progres which is bringing RICO charges against them. So that's a very serious matter as well.
Patrick Craine [00:14:09] Well after this preliminary hearing in the criminal case where what would be the next the next step in the process.
Lianne Laurence [00:14:17] As far as I understand it, the judge will then weigh the testimony and he'll decide if there's probable cause to go to a criminal trial. So he it's possible he may drop some of the charges he may reduce some of them to misdemeanors or he may leave them all intact. So we're just gonna have to wait and see how that's going to go. Now it's interesting to note that. The prosecution itself was initiated or the investigation into David and Sandra was initiated by Kamala Harris when she was the attorney general for California. And she's ordered agents to go into David's home and to seize a lot of his video equipment and that sort of thing and a lot of the materials. So there's been a lot of you know it's obvious that it's a very politically motivated prosecution. The attorney general the present attorney general has carried on with the prosecution despite efforts by David and Sandra's lawyers to have him drop it because of the obvious connection with Kamala Harris and the present attorney general with Planned Parenthood. May also mention that in connection with another lawsuit by the National Abortion Federation. There's been a federal injunction on a lot of the videos that David and Sandra collected at one of the National Abortion Federation conventions. So those have been under a ban. Now they've been allowed to be there allowing them to play them in court but they'll be sealed after that. So that's another thing. That they're fighting against is they cannot, they can't release all of the videos that they have and with a lot more of that damning information against the abortionists and the abortion industry. So and the judge in that case is William Orrick III and he's the one who's presiding over the Planned Parenthood civil case and he's also presiding over the National Abortion Foundation's civil case. And he has connections to Planned Parenthood and his wife has been on record as supporting Planned Parenthood. So that's another part of the kind of collusion with Planned Parenthood and the state actors who are prosecuting David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt.
Patrick Craine [00:16:45] Well good. Yeah well we'll be keeping keeping you and Jim in our prayers as you continue to cover the case as well as David and Sandra and their legal teams.
[00:16:55] So thank you. Thank you so much. Thanks so much Patrick. Thank you. God bless you. OK.