Friday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1671 into law. The bill received vocal opposition from both the press and civil rights organizations because it criminalizes free speech rights and silences whistleblowers–all reportedly in an effort to protect Planned Parenthood. The abortion chain has freely admitted it had input in the bill’s creation. And this week emails revealed that California Attorney General, Kamala Harris, had reportedly worked with Planned Parenthood in the bill’s creation.
As Live Action News reported earlier in the week, the bill will “make it a crime to record and/or distribute conversations with health care providers” and was “drafted in response to David Daleiden’s undercover investigation of Planned Parenthood,” thanks to ” Planned Parenthood feeding [California AG Kamala] Harris’s office suggestions.” Emails which were uncovered, according to The Washington Times, “depict conversations between the state agency and Planned Parenthood over AB 1671, which would amend the penal code to make secretly recording and disseminating communications with health care providers a crime.”
While issues related to pro-life matters are often politically polarized, AB 1671 was opposed by Democrats and Republicans alike.
[Even] Democratic lawmakers in the state were opposed to it, arguing that it might discourage journalists and private individuals from revealing necessary information about the health-care industry.“Everyone is supportive of Planned Parenthood, because it was a terrible thing that happened to them,” said state senator Loni Hancock of Berkeley, Calif., when the bill was being considered, referring to the CMP undercover-video investigation. But Hancock also noted that she considered First Amendment rights to be “core values” and that this bill might undermine those rights.
Even the liberal Los Angeles Times editorial board — which demanded in July that Congress put an end to its “witch hunt for ‘baby body part’ sellers” — opined in late August against AB 1671, saying the law has the huge potential for “unanticipated and unwelcome consequences” and it “would heap more criminal and civil penalties on making a secret recording . . . simply to satisfy an interest group popular among Sacramento Democrats.”
The American Civil Liberties Union of California wrote a letter opposing the bill early on in the legislative process, arguing it is tantamount to a content-based restriction on speech and therefore unconstitutional. The group, which supports abortion rights, continued to oppose AB 1671 even after the compromise was reached.
Planned Parenthood freely admitted to helping craft the new law. The Washington Times also reported this week:
Ana Sandoval, director of communications for Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, said the organization played a substantive role in the passage of AB 1671.
“As sponsor of the legislation, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California played an integral part in drafting amendments as the bill moved through the legislative process,” Ms. Sandoval said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Attorney General Harris chose not to investigate Planned Parenthood to look into the allegations the Center for Medical Progress launched against them; instead, her office raided the home of CMP’s leader, David Daleiden, and confiscated several of his belongings. Thus the revelations that Harris’s office worked in conjunction with Planned Parenthood to draft the law — which would protect it from investigations like CMP’s in the future — were less than surprising.
Responding to the news that the state attorney general had reportedly worked with Planned Parenthood to draft the new law, Live Action President, Lila Rose, said this week:
Instead of investigating Planned Parenthood for trafficking in baby body parts, Kamala Harris reportedly has been secretly working with Planned Parenthood to write a law to criminalize the very investigative journalism that exposed those horrific injustices.
Planned Parenthood is dismembering preborn children through abortion, and its CEO, Cecile Richards, even admitted in a letter to Congress that the corporation had accepted $60 for each child’s organ it had harvested.
It is indefensible that California’s top law enforcer would work with Planned Parenthood to jail journalists and whistleblowers who record and share footage that exposes the abortion chain potentially breaking the law.
As attorney general, Kamala Harris is supposed to represent the people and uphold the law. Instead, these emails show Harris is more interested in brazenly attacking the First Amendment and helping Planned Parenthood hide human rights abuses and potentially illegal and abusive activity from public view.
Planned Parenthood may have succeeded in limiting the right to free speech to pro-lifers seeking to expose the truth about its abortion operation, but in doing so, it has stripped many other Californians from their right to free speech as well. Attorney General Harris’s refusal to investigate the abortion giant, then turn around and work with them to draft a law in their favor, is a troubling commentary on the state of justice in the Golden State.