SACRAMENTO, California, September 2, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — The California Senate has voted to ban exposing any undercover discoveries of criminal activity by Planned Parenthood, abortion businesses, abortion clinic workers, or volunteers.
The proposed law is a direct reaction to damaging undercover videos released by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), in which Planned Parenthood officials talked candidly and even joked about trafficking in human body parts, including beating hearts from aborted babies.
Since the CMP and its founder David Daleiden's undercover videos created a nationwide fervor last summer, 11 states have defunded Planned Parenthood. While Planned Parenthood said publicly that it was unscathed, the nation's largest and most lucrative abortion megabusiness sought to attack Daleiden through four lawsuits filed against him and to outlaw similar damaging exposure of its practices through anti-free press legislation.
Assembly Bill 1671 prohibits publishing confidential conversations with healthcare providers — even if those conversations reveal illegal practices, such as Planned Parenthood's admitted practice of illegally modifying abortion procedures to procure “intact” specimens.
The proposed law also demands fines of up to $10,000 per violation and one year in a state penitentiary. The bill is expected to reach pro-abortion Gov. Jerry Brown soon.
Critics — and not just abortion opponents — say the new law goes against the Bill of Rights' freedom of the press. The Christian News Wire noted that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled “restraints on speech and publication are the most serious and least tolerable infringement on First Amendment rights.”
Even outspoken abortion proponent the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is against the bill, saying it is unconstitutional censorship of speech.
After many California legislators objected to the bill's infringement of free speech and the press, language of the bill was modified to state that members of the mainstream media cannot be prosecuted if they did not make the original undercover video.
CMP's David Daleiden reacted to the proposed legislation with incredulity. “Planned Parenthood still can't own up to the fact that their senior leadership was caught on camera talking about which places on a late-term baby to crush or not crush in order to harvest the most valuable body parts for sale,” he told LifeSiteNews.
“So, instead, Planned Parenthood is trying to make it a crime to see the evidence,” Daleiden said.
The CMP founder further stated that the proposed law is unconstitutional. “Citizen Journalism is a First Amendment right, not a crime,” he told LifeSiteNews, adding, “The only crime is the one Planned Parenthood is trying to cover up: their abortion-and-baby-parts-for-profit scheme.”
Live Action's Lila Rose pointed out that the bill does not protect any undercover journalist who writes about criminal activity. “For years, investigative journalists have recorded and exposed Planned Parenthood facilities across the country covering up for sex traffickers, failing to report child sexual abusers, and trafficking in baby body parts,” she said.
“Instead of being compelled to be more transparent with the public, taxpayer-funded Planned Parenthood wants to jail journalists and whistleblowers who record and distribute footage that shows it potentially breaking the law.”
Rose noted that the liberal California Newspaper Publishers Association admitted that “even the newly amended version of the bill still 'potentially criminalizes speech.'”
She charged that the whole bill is an example of legislative cover-up for money. “Planned Parenthood is brazenly attacking the First Amendment, aided and abetted by California legislators who are protecting a major campaign donor.”
Rose said that because Planned Parenthood is tax-funded, the public should know what the abortion giant is doing with its funds. “When the public funds half of Planned Parenthood's operations, it has a right to know that its money isn't being used to break the law or commit abuses, and governments should be taking steps to make things more transparent, not less,” she said.
The prolife champion warned that if California passes this bill into law, Planned Parenthood will seek to pass similar anti-free speech bans nationwide.
Rose concluded, “This bill doesn't protect women; instead, it puts Planned Parenthood above the law, and lets it hide potentially illegal and abusive activity from public view.”
Life Legal Defense Foundation's Executive Director Alexandra Snyder told the Christian News Wire, “We urge the full body of the California legislature to reject this unconstitutional bill.”