Day 10 of the Planned Parenthood v. The Center for Medical Progress (CMP) civil trial began Monday with two Planned Parenthood Federation of America employees taking the stand. David Daleiden, lead investigator of CMP, also began his testimony, which is expected to last two or three days.
Pro-Life San Francisco told Live Action News that the first to testify was Jennifer Castle, a nurse practitioner and director for the Consortium of Planned Parenthood Abortion Providers (CAPS). Planned Parenthood attorney Amy Bomse questioned her about the CAPS reception at the Planned Parenthood National Conference in 2015 during which she was filmed by CMP undercover investigators. Castle stated that the event “was only for Planned Parenthood staff.”
Bomse also played footage for the jury of the National Abortion Federation (NAF) Conference and Castle identified herself and her supervisor Deb VanDerhei “at a refreshment table” in a restricted NAF conference area. Castle said that even though the video footage was never released publicly she “still had concerns… I didn’t know if my name or face would be on the news.”
Upon cross-examination, defense attorney Paul Jonna asked Castle if she stopped speaking with “Robert Sarkis” of “BioMax” (CMP investigator David Daleiden) after he was introduced to her at the CAPS reception and she was aware he did not work for Planned Parenthood. She said she did not stop speaking with him despite the fact that he didn’t work for Planned Parenthood and she did not ask him to leave either.
As for the NAF conference, Jonna asked Castle if she was aware that not all persons in attendance had signed confidentiality agreements. She said she was unaware. Jonna asked if the defendants had made any threats against her to which she replied, “I don’t know.” Jonna pointed out that there is no evidence that any threats were made by the defendants, to which Castle stated, “Not that I’m aware of.” She admitted that she incurred no expenses because of the videos and that Planned Parenthood did not get permission from her to bring the lawsuit against CMP on her behalf.
Jen Gupta, Director of Medical Standards for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, took the stand next. Pro-Life San Francisco’s founder and executive director Terrisa Bukovinac told Live Action News Gupta testified that she was paid by Planned Parenthood to attend the Orlando Medical Directors Conference (MeDC) and that in order to attend a person had to sign up on a secure website and show ID to match the name on the registrant list. She failed to mention confidentiality forms. A clip of people sitting at a table was shown and Gupta identified her husband, as well as Dr. Jennefer Russo and Laura Dalton of Planned Parenthood Arizona. She said that in order for her husband to attend, she had to add him as a plus one and he showed his ID to get a badge.
Jonna cross-examined Gupta and pointed out that she is very public in her opinions of abortion on Twitter. Jonna asked her if she was concerned when the video of former medical director Deborah Nucatola eating salad and talking about altering abortion procedures was released. Gupta said she “had no concerns.”
Defense attorney Katie Short pointed out that the second recording was not of a confidential conversation between her and Daleiden and she agreed that it was not. She also said that Planned Parenthood did not get permission from her to bring the lawsuit against CMP on her behalf.
About halfway through the day, CMP lead investigator Daleiden took the stand. He testified about his history with pro-life work including time spent working with Live Action. He was questioned as to whether or not “BioMax” purchased any of the fetal tissue discussed in the videos.
“If there were an ethical, legal way to do that I was open to considering it. But I could never find such a way—which is part of the whole reason for this project,” said Daleiden. “We never intended to commit the crime of trafficking in human body parts for valuable consideration…. After 2.5 years of exploring the marketplace, we could never find an ethical and legal way to do that.”
Daleiden also testified that he held fetal organs in his own hands. He will take the stand again on Tuesday, October 22, 2019.
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