Investigators: We’ll go to Supreme Court to release Planned Parenthood videos if needed
SAN FRANCISCO, September 16, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) - All the undercover video footage of Planned Parenthood's harvesting and sale of fetal organs will be released, even if the Center for Medical Progress has to appeal all the way to the Supreme Court, its attorney tells LifeSiteNews.
"The National Abortion Federation is seeking to suppress [CMP Lead Investigator] David [Daleiden]'s ability to communicate. It's an attempt to get a gag order," says Tom Brejcha of the Thomas More Society, a public interest law firm in Chicago.
"They want to put him in jail. They want to destroy him financially," he says.
NAF, which Brejcha calls an "abortion industry trade group," has sued to prevent the pro-life organization from releasing any further videos of its 30-month investigation -- and to force the group to take down all existing footage from the internet.
"They're really pursuing the case in a very nasty way," he says, accusing CMP investigators of perpetrating a "crime spree."
The abortion industry has filed "a humongous case...involving 13 claims" that CMP violated the federal RICO law and "various provisions in California law."
CMP in general and Daleiden in particular "broke no laws" and "consulted with experts before he began his 'Human Capital' project."
The group's lawyers have asked the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to halt the discovery phase related to NAF's lawsuit.
Depending on how the notoriously liberal court rules, CMP "may go up to next step, to the U.S. Supreme [Court] in the next several weeks," Brejcha tells LifeSiteNews.
The lawyers and the public are not the only ones interested in looking at CMP's undercover videos of Planned Parenthood executives discussing the benefit of "fetal tissue donation." Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-UT, has issued a subpoena for the full, uncut footage, possibly leading to further Congressional action against the nation's leading abortion provider.
If NAF succeeds in stifling CMP's videos, nothing less than the First Amendment itself is at risk, Brejcha believes. That's why he has maintained the furious pace of court filings and responses.
"We've had probably the most intensive month of litigating I've ever undergone in my 45 years of practicing law, and that includes the [Joe] Scheidler case," Brejcha says. "This is just as big or bigger than that."
"We're up against a massive corporate law firm," he says. "The Obama administration, the Justice Department is waiting to pounce."
Smarting from the PR drubbing it has taken since the videos' debut, Planned Parenthood is "fighting back using all their allies in government," said Katie Short, vice president of legal affairs for the Life Legal Defense Foundation (LLDF), during an online forum attended by 10,618 participants last night.
StemExpress succeeded in getting a temporary restraining order "by ambushing us," she said. "We have hearings both in September and October" on the future of CMP's activities.
"They are scared. They are really scared right now," Short said. "It's never good for the abortion industry when the details of abortion are discussed."
The lawyers promised they will not leave the case - just as the Thomas More Society persisted in defending Joe Scheidler from the National Organization for Women for 28 years.
Brejcha says he is impressed by "the degree to which David has become an expert" in the specialized vocabulary of fetal organ and tissue procurement.
"We owe it to him to back him up to the hilt," he told LifeSiteNews. "Believe me, we're in it for the long run."