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SAN FRANCISCO, October 25, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — The jury for the Planned Parenthood federal civil trial in San Francisco caught a glimpse of the dark world of aborted baby body parts trafficking during David Daleiden’s third day of testimony.

Daleiden, 30, explained why he formed the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) at age 24 and undertook a 30-month sting operation that’s now known as the Human Capital Project and that he described as “my masterpiece.”

Indeed, that masterpiece shocked the world when CMP released groundbreaking videos in July 2015 exposing the casual brutality of Planned Parenthood abortionists negotiating the sale of aborted baby body parts, and has since sparked ongoing Department of Justice and FBI criminal investigations into Planned Parenthood.

And it has landed Daleiden, CMP undercover reporters Sandra Merritt and Geraldo Adrian Lopez, and founding board members Albin Rhomberg and Troy Newman of Operation Rescue in court, with their 14 lawyers fighting a massive Planned Parenthood Federation of America lawsuit. 

PPFA and 10 affiliates are accusing the pro-life defendants of 15 crimes, including wiretapping, conspiracy, trespassing, breach of contract, and violating the Racketeer-Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), and are seeking damages in potentially millions of dollars.

Daleiden and Merritt are also charged with 14 felony counts of recording confidential communications without consent in a parallel criminal proceeding. California Superior Court Judge Christopher Hite is expected to rule November 13 if there’s probable cause to go to trial.

Is undercover work “always a lie? Is it a sin?”

Daleiden told the jury Wednesday that since age 15, he has cared about abortion policy and “how we regard and how we treat children in the womb” in his country because “I am the child of a crisis pregnancy.”

“Nobody’s ever going to pretend that that’s an easy or a perfect situation, but I have always felt very strongly that everyone deserves a chance to make of their lives what you want to,” he said. 

“I think that’s something, that killing a child in the womb, abortion, takes that opportunity away.”

Daleiden also testified on cross-examination by lawyer Charles LiMandri of the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund that he consulted Catholic moral theologian Janet Smith in the early planning stage of his sting operation.

He had “always been comfortable with the ethics and the morality of undercover work” as “a really important tool” and a “special kind of communication that we use and broadly accept in society for specific reasons,” Daleiden said.

But there were a lot of “fraught” and “lively” discussions in the Catholic and pro-life blogosphere on the subject in 2010 and 2011, such as: “Is it okay for reporters to do it? You know, thou shalt not lie. Like, is it always a lie? Is it always wrong? Is it always sinful?”

Daleiden said Smith told him that “we don’t always communicate with each other in a literal one-equals-one or one-plus-one-equals-two kind of way. There is lots of different genres of communication, if you will. There is poetry. There is acting. There is metaphor.”

“And so, and even though in general our speech and our communication is used to communicate the truth to one another, sometimes you can — you need to — hide the truth for a certain amount of time in order to more powerfully communicate the truth later on.” 

Daleiden also consulted Smith because he was concerned about “how close can you actually get to that activity… before you become a participant in it.” 

He never used a “mole,” that is, sent a person into a fetal organ harvesting company as an employee, Daleiden said. Doing so not only “looked incredibly legally complex” but “was certainly incredibly ethically fraught and complex as well, which is one of the things that I talked about with Dr. Smith.” 

Defense lawyers intended to call Smith as a witness, but Judge William Orrick ruled her testimony would not be relevant.

Babies submerged in artificial womb until they drown

As Daleiden described his research into aborted baby body parts trafficking, Planned Parenthood lawyers objected numerous times and Orrick reiterated to the jury that his testimony was not to be considered as fact but only as evidence of Daleiden’s state of mind. 

One of the defense’s arguments is that California law allows covert taping of confidential communications when those doing so believe they are collecting evidence of violent felonies against the person.

An ongoing point of contention for the defense is that, for the most part, Orrick has refused to allow the jury to see CMP video footage as evidence to back up the defendants’ testimony, and refute Planned Parenthood’s claims the videos are misleading and incite violence against abortionists, on the grounds the videos are prejudicial.

However, on Tuesday Orrick allowed the jury to see the 2000 ABC 20/20 exposé in which investigators covertly recorded a Planned Parenthood abortionist in Kansas boasting of the money to be made selling aborted baby body parts.

Daleiden testified that this was one impetus for his decision to investigate fetal organ and tissue trafficking, as were the 2000 congressional hearings that followed the 20/20 exposé, and a Life Dynamics citizen-journalist investigation around the same time.

“I was really shocked that no major news organization or no major advocacy organization had done anything to follow up on it, really, for about ten years at that point,” he testified.

Daleiden also read Suzanne Rini’s book Beyond Abortion: A Chronicle of Fetal Experimentation, which “informed my suspicions that fetal experimentation was a way that exploited even infants born alive, and that potentially viable infants could be killed through fetal experimentation.”

The jury saw a photograph of a six-month-old unborn baby submerged in the “artificial placenta” — a tank of artificial amniotic fluid in which the researchers “would see how long they could keep them alive for, until they drowned.” 

Six months’ gestation is “viable age that you would expect that if an infant was born alive premature like that, they would be rushed to a NICU, to a neonatal intensive care unit,” Daleiden said.

Over-dilating to get whole baby is risk to woman: ‘It’s a game’

Jurors also heard a conversation between abortion consultant Ruth Arick of Choice Pursuits Consulting and CMP investigators Merritt and Brianna Allen, which the latter covertly recorded at an Association of Reproductive Health Professionals convention in 2013, and in which Arick admits abortionists will change procedures to obtain more intact organs.

“Now, a lot of places, not a lot, some researchers are looking for whole fetuses, in the earlier stages, so you over-dilate, you try to be able to extract an entire fetus through your cannula, but then again, the over-dilation can be a risk to the woman, so you know, it’s a game,” she says.

She also advised the CMP journalists posing as representatives of BioMax, that they needed to place an employee inside the abortion center. 

“If you’re looking for the organs, you’ve got to be able to do that, and separate them, and get ’em in the right kind of stuff, and then off they go,” Arick said.

Daleiden testified that he began investigating the “middleman wholesalers of aborted fetal organs and tissues” such as Advanced Bioscience Research, Novogenix, and StemExpress which “would embed their technicians inside of the abortion clinics that they were partnered with” — invariably, Planned Parenthood clinics.

He discovered the medical director for StemExpress was Planned Parenthood Mar Monte abortionist Ronald Berman, who wrote a paper advocating the use of a drug to do “second-trimester abortions through labor induction”, a method which increased the likelihood of a baby being born alive. 

In her book, Rini “really fingered that particular drug in her book as something that was a key part of live fetal experimentation,” he said.

‘You could get genitals. You could get the scalp.’

Daleiden heard then-StemExpress science director Joshua Woods tell a conference in Sacramento in 2012 that “StemExpress was founded in 2010, with a $15,000 startup loan. And that in just two years, they had passed the million-dollar mark in revenues as a company.” 

In a conversation afterward, Woods “told me that what he believed the biggest barrier in their market was supply chain access.”

The jury also saw Daleiden’s 2012 screenshots of StemExpress website’s drop-down menu order form for fetal organs and tissues. 

“You have one drop-down menu for the kind of body part you wanted. They had about 50 to a hundred different body parts listed. You could get a heart, you could get a heart with veins and arteries still attached, you could get a brain, you could get kidneys, you could get genitals. You could get the scalp. Really, anything you could imagine,” Daleiden said. 

StemExpress also had a drop-down menu for gestational age, to specify the number of specimens, and buttons to choose the method of shipping. 

“If you wanted Fed Ex same day, Fed Ex overnight, Fed Ex ground, if you wanted a courier to drive it to you locally within the Northern California region on the same day, [so many options were available],” he said.

Daleiden told the jury he discovered a 2012 Stanford School of Medicine study published in Circulation in which StemExpress supplied human fetal hearts that were used in a Langendorff perfusion apparatus.

He consulted experts, including Dr. Theresa Deisher, who told him “the most horrific aspect of fetal experimentation is that most of the — of the organ and tissue demand would require — would require fetuses delivered alive from the abortion,” and “in the case of a Langendorff perfusion study, to have a heart that was still beating, because you’d cut it out of a living fetus.”

Daleiden’s testimony will continue when court resumes Thursday, October 31.

The transcript of Wednesday’s proceedings can be found here. The transcript of the Arick audio is posted on Thomas More Society’s website here