Court blocks pro-life group from releasing some new fetal part footage
July 29, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The California Superior Court has issued a narrow temporary restraining order preventing the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), a pro-life group, from releasing further undercover video footage taken of three top-level staff of StemExpress.
CMP is the organization behind the series of three videos released over the past three weeks exposing the alleged harvesting and sale of body parts from aborted babies by Planned Parenthood – body parts that are then purchased by StemExpress.
CMP has alleged that the fees paid by StemExpress to Planned Parenthood violate federal law prohibiting the sale and trafficking of human tissue.
While Planned Parenthood has claimed that the fees paid to them by StemExpress merely cover their costs, and fall within the bounds of the law, the video footage released so far has appeared to show Planned Parenthood employees seeking profit as part of the transaction.
In the most recent video, released Tuesday, a Planned Parenthood affiliate vice president was caught on video describing how the abortion organization can maximize profit. “I think a per-item thing works a little better, just because we can see how much we can get out of it,” Dr. Savita Sinde said of the aborted baby.
The Associated Press, which broke the news about the court order, reports that the undercover videos of the StemExpress staff were filmed at a restaurant in May.
It is unclear just how significant an impact the court order will have on the release of subsequent videos in the series. David Daleiden, the lead researcher with CMP, has said that at least nine more videos are slated for release.
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The restraining order reportedly only pertains to the footage of the StemExpress employees, meaning that any other footage, including that featuring Planned Parenthood employees, can still be released as planned.
In an exclusive comment to LifeSiteNews after the release of the court order, Daleiden said that, at the end of the day, what happened in the courtroom may actually be a victory for the pro-life group.
"The ruling is very narrow, concerning only one specific meeting, and it is temporary and contingent pending further litigation," he said. "The judge actually threw out completely the part of StemExpress' case where they were asking to suppress the documents on their baby parts sales."
"It was a much better day for us than it was for them and Planned Parenthood."
In a statement released after the ruling, StemExpress stated that they sought the restraining order "on the grounds that CMP and Daleiden violated California’s anti-wiretapping law under Penal Code § 632 (Invasion of Privacy Act)."
"We will continue to pursue all available legal remedies against CMP and Daleiden," said the company.
However, Daleiden told LifeSiteNews that StemExpress' complaints are groundless.
"The recordings in California complied with the California law," he said. "The California law only applies to 'confidential communications' and does not include conversations held in public that anyone can overhear. There is significant case law on this point as well."
In a separate statement released after the court ruling, CMP accused StemExpress of using “meritless litigation” to "cover-up this illegal baby parts trade, suppress free speech, and silence the citizen press reporting on issues of burning concern to the American public.”
The AP reports that the restraining order will remain in place until a hearing on August 19.
The videos released by CMP to date have amassed millions of views, and have been featured in countless media nationally and internationally.
Even more striking, perhaps, than the footage appearing to demonstrate that Planned Parenthood is profiting from the sale of the aborted baby body parts, has been the footage showing the cavalier manner in which the Planned Parenthood employees have spoken about the aborted babies.
In an interview with LifeSiteNews, Fr. Frank Pavone, one of the pro-life leaders behind the release of the video series, said, "When an abortionist dehumanizes the baby that he or she is about to kill, the abortionist also dehumanizes himself. And this is what we are seeing in these people. We see it in Deborah Nucatola sipping the wine and eating the salad and talking about the body parts."
Pavone said one of the main objectives of the video series was to humanize the unborn baby. “When people see and hear terms like ‘eyes, livers, hearts’ it’s like, ‘What are we talking about here? This is ghoulish disgusting activity.’”