The Thomas More Society announced in a press release this week that David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt of the Center for Medical Progress, who exposed the abortion industry’s trafficking in fetal body parts in a series of forensically verified videos, have filed a letter asking the court “to insist that Planned Parenthood produce the requested documents and explanations” related to its “income and costs related to fetal tissue procurement.”
Up to this point, Planned Parenthood has produced no documents regarding its exchange of aborted baby body parts for so-called “compensation.” The cases against Daleiden and Merritt have focused on whether their undercover videotaping of abortion industry employees was illegal. According to the Thomas More Society press release, “The abortion provider claims that questions about invoices showing that Planned Parenthood affiliates profited from the sale of baby body parts have ‘zero bearing’ on the issues in the case” — but Daleiden’s attorneys note that Planned Parenthood’s lawsuits claim CMP broke the law by videotaping them, and that the videos themselves are “misleading.” Therefore, the company’s invoices are relevant.
TMS Special Counsel Peter Breen stated, “The idea that this huge profiteer thinks that they can just say something without having to produce relevant evidence is preposterous.” He added, “If the payments received for fetal body tissue exceeded the allowable costs, then Planned Parenthood and its affiliates were first, engaged in criminal conduct, and next, making a profit off of selling aborted baby parts. If they were doing nothing illegal, all they need to do to prove it is open the books.”
TMS points out in its press release that “it has already been established that Planned Parenthood and its affiliates received payments for procuring fetal tissue.” What’s in question is whether those payments “exceeded the legally allowable expenses.” But CMP caught at least one Planned Parenthood medical director haggling over prices and joking about wanting to earn enough to get a Lamborghini:
Planned Parenthood’s “expenses” were likely minimal to none, as fetal procurement technicians from outside vendors like StemExpress and ABR were coming into the organization’s facilities and doing all the work to collect specimens, and were being “reimbursed” anywhere from $30-$100 per specimen.
The judge in the case, however, has indicated that she feels Daleiden’s request may be an irrelevant “rabbit hole.” Daleiden disagreed, stating, according to Courthouse News:
“You heard the plaintiffs say multiple times at the podium today that a core part of this case is that they think I smeared them,” he said. “If it is the case of Planned Parenthood that I smeared them, then I think that I’m entitled as a defendant to prove nothing I said was a smear, that it was all true.”
Courthouse News adds:
U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna Ryu said she would review a 2016 Congressional report and raw footage anti-abortion activists David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt secretly shot… to evaluate their request for the information….
According to the [Congressional] report… three fetal tissue procurement companies had since 2010 paid Planned Parenthood affiliates “substantially” more for aborted fetal tissue than it cost.
Moreover, the report found, although Planned Parenthood had a policy to ensure its affiliates were only reimbursed for the costs of facilitating donations, its affiliates failed to follow it….
“[C]ontrary to the intent of the law, companies have charged thousands of dollars for specimens removed from a single aborted fetus; they have claimed the fees they charged only recovered acceptable costs when they had not, in fact, conducted any analysis of their costs when setting the fees; and their post hoc accounting rationalizations invoked indirect and tenuously-related costs in an attempt to justify their fees,” the report states.