On Thursday, the Center for Medical Progress released a new video that exposed the grisly discussions that took place behind closed doors at National Abortion Federation conventions. Planned Parenthood abortionists and executives, along with other leaders in the abortion industry, were seen laughing and joking about gruesome abortion procedures, as well as candidly discussing performing illegal procedures, like “intact dilation & extraction” — or partial-birth abortion. Others mentioned getting “financial incentives” for fetal organs. The video was truly horrifying to see.
Today, however, news broke that may shed light on the video’s sudden removal from YouTube. A federal judge ordered the videos to be removed and is now threatening David Daleiden with contempt. U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick has ordered Daleiden, along with attorneys Steve Cooley and Brentford J. Ferreira, to appear at a hearing on June 14th to consider contempt sanctions.
Pro-lifers may recognize Orrick’s name; he was the judge who granted the original injunction blocking videos featuring the National Abortion Federation from being released, after a lawsuit was filed to keep the videos hidden. Orrick, an Obama appointee, took only hours to grant the injunction after the National Abortion Federation’s lawsuit was filed. He then extended the ban, despite the fact that Daleiden’s attorneys rightly argued that this was a violation of his First Amendment rights, which protects investigative journalism. As Live Action has pointed out, the tactics used by the Center of Medical Progress are tactics commonly used by journalists, including pro-abortion journalists.
The attack on free speech is so egregious that the U.S. Reporters’ Committee filed a ‘friend of the Court’ submission expressing their fear of the ramifications of the restraint filed against the Center for Medical Progress. But it seems that Orrick is more concerned with protecting the National Abortion Federation than he is with protecting free speech. Orrick also refused to dismiss a lawsuit by Planned Parenthood against the Center for Medical Progress.
In a statement to the National Review, Daleiden’s attorneys Steve Cooley and Brentford Ferreira said that the new footage was released legally, as the felony charges filed against Daleiden and fellow investigator Sandra Merritt placed the footage into public record:
[Calif.] Attorney General Xavier Becerra has entered this footage into the public record by filing a public criminal proceeding based on it. The preliminary injunction obtained by NAF in a federal civil suit cannot bind this State criminal proceeding. (In fact, the SF Superior Court is now releasing certified copies of the court filings to the public with the links to the videos.)
Given this information, Orrick’s decision to force the removal of the video and threaten Daleiden with contempt makes even less sense.