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David DaleidenJim Hale / LifeSiteNews

SAN FRANCISCO, California, September 16, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – In his first-ever public testimony, pro-life investigative journalist David Daleiden detailed his 30-month-long undercover sting operation to enter the “networking spaces” of baby body parts traffickers.

He had reason to believe violent crimes were committed in the harvesting of fetal organs, among them partial-birth abortion, babies born alive and left to die, and “born-alive infant homicide,” where babies are “killed through organ harvesting,” Daleiden said Friday at his and Sandra Merrit’s criminal preliminary hearing.

Daleiden, project lead for the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), and Merritt, an investigative reporter for CMP, are charged with 14 felony counts of illegal taping in connection with the videos CMP released in 2015 ago exposing Planned Parenthood selling baby body parts. (One of the original 15 counts was dropped on Friday.)

Daleiden said he incorporated CMP in early 2013 to raise funds for his proposed investigation into the fetal body parts harvesting industry, a project now generally known as the Human Capital Project.

He was aware of the California law banning taping confidential communications without consent through his work with Lila Rose of Live Action, but consulted with lawyers specifically about this project, he said.

Legal experts told him it was legal under Section 532 of California’s penal code to record confidential communications in public places where the conversation could be overheard, and that Section 633.5 exempted covert recording of confidential communications when one had a reasonable belief he was gathering evidence of violent crimes, Daleiden said.

Those are the two grounds of his and Merritt’s defense.

Daleiden testified that as “early pilot project for the undercover operation,” he attended an April 2013 Berkeley screening of the documentary After Tiller, which featured late-term abortionist Doe 3, one of the alleged victims of illegal taping. (The names of his and Merritt’s accusers are sealed during the prosecution by the judge’s order.)

He said when he met Doe 3 later at a National Abortion Federation (NAF) in 2014, she volunteered she did abortions up to 40 weeks.

In the Q&A following the documentary’s screening, Daleiden identified himself as Robert Sarkis, a stem cell grad student at UC Davis and asked if fetal specimen donation was an option, he told the court.

Panelist Dr. Shelley Sella “said they did it at New Mexico and Albuquerque,” and “when I walked out, no less than three northern California abortion doctors approached me to say ‘we sell fetal tissue,’” he testified.

One of them, Jackie Barbic of Family Planning Specialists Oakland, put Daleiden in contact with Linda Tracy of the fetal procurement company Advanced Bioscience Resources, Daleiden said.

He met Tracy and Perrin Larton, ABR’s procurement manager, at an exhibit booth at the June 2013 International Society of Stem Cell Research Conference in Boston, he said.

He secretly recorded Larton saying then that “the main [thing] is to avoid live births” and describing how a mother went in for an abortion and three minutes later “the fetus just fell out.”

Daleiden testified Larton said she was in an abortion facility to procure fetal organs, that he understood this was a live birth and Larton procured organs from the baby, who was about five months’ gestational age.

He said CMP’s next undercover venture was at the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals conference in Denver where he monitored two investigators, one of whom was his co-defendant Merritt, from a hotel room. They would come back with video recordings that he’d review, he told the court.

It was at this conference that Merritt, posing as Susan Tannenbaum, met abortion consultant Ruth Arick of Choice Pursuits.

In an audio recording played to the court, Arick advised Merritt that Biomax would need to “put a person into the clinic you’re working with” when “looking for organs.”

She said that in order to obtain an “entire fetus” an abortionist could “dilate extra” with the cannula.

Arick said digoxin, a drug intended to overwhelm the unborn baby’s heart, is in “heavy use” because of the “crazy” partial-birth abortion ban, but she knew “some folks” who didn’t use it. 

She referred Merritt to David Gluck in Manhattan, who didn’t use digoxin but would “clamp the cord” to kill the baby.

She also referred Merritt to the Feminist Women’s Health Centers of California.

“I think most of those clinics are seeing cases at least to 20 weeks,” Arick told Merrit. “Live births at 20 are pretty darn unusual.”

Daleiden testified that fetal organ harvesters can’t use a baby killed in utero with digoxin because they need fresh organs.

He understood from Arick’s comments that abortionists would change the abortion procedures for organ harvesting two ways: over-dilation, which Arick explicitly acknowledged was “a risk to women,” and “pushing back the gestational age to administer feticides like digoxin,” Daleiden told the court.

At the same conference, Merritt made contact with NAF’s Sandy Schaeffer and Jennifer Hart, who “invited Biomax to join their group purchasing program” and to attend the 2014 NAF conference in San Francisco, Daleiden testified.

NAF did not ask for a non-disclosure agreement, or any documents on Biomax, Daleiden said, and “without signed agreements, sent us the whole exhibition prospectus for April 2014.” 

He applied for an exhibitor booth and paid the $3,200 fee on the CMP VISA debit card in February. 

Merritt and Daleiden secretly recorded Does 1 to 8 at the NAF conference.

Daleiden’s testimony continues Monday.