For the past five years, Planned Parenthood has levied a series of false attacks against David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) to conceal the truth of Daleiden’s undercover research. Daleiden and CMP’s investigation revealed to the public back in 2015 just how far the abortion provider is willing to go to make a profit – even if it means illegally trafficking aborted baby body parts. CMP’s videos called Planned Parenthood’s reputation as a philanthropic provider of women’s healthcare into question, and the corporation’s smears against Daleiden distracted the public from Planned Parenthood’s unethical conduct.
However, a recent defamation lawsuit filed by Daleiden and CMP will hold Planned Parenthood accountable for the disingenuous narrative they tried to spin around CMP’s footage. In light of the lawsuit, it’s worth examining the many ways Planned Parenthood tried to deceive people about Daleiden and his work to cover up their crimes. Planned Parenthood’s comments have not aged well.
Planned Parenthood’s former president accused Daleiden of releasing “highly-doctored videos”
Former Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards was interviewed by George Stephanopoulos of ABC News shortly after CMP’s videos were released in 2015. By this time, CMP had unveiled footage of Planned Parenthood Federation of America Medical Director Dr. Deborah Nucatola discussing during a lunch meeting with CMP’s undercover investigators the abortion techniques that preserve the aborted baby’s valuable organs. Another video showed Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Mary Gatter callously haggling over the price of aborted body parts, joking that she wanted to make enough money to buy a Lamborghini.
During the interview, Richards presented a series of talking points to try and smooth over the horrific videos the public had seen in an attempt to deflect the accusations. Richards asserted multiple times that Planned Parenthood was not the real story, but that Daleiden and his investigative team were the ones who should be scrutinized.
“I think what’s not told is these are highly, selectively edited [videos],” Richards told Stephanopoulos. “The folks behind it are part of the most militant wing of the anti-abortion movement that has been behind the bombing of clinics, the murder of doctors in their homes, and in their churches, and that’s what actually needs to be looked at.”
There’s quite a few problems with this line of defense. First, Daleiden released the unedited, full footage of Dr. Nucatola and Dr. Gatter alongside the shortened videos, and both versions of the footage were made publicly accessible at the same time. The second talking point – that Daleiden is some sort of violent anti-abortion extremist – is even more ridiculous. It’s rather difficult to frame Daleiden — a Catholic who has never relied on acts of terror to promote the truth about abortion — as a “militant” radical.
On the contrary, Planned Parenthood was caught harvesting the body parts of children they had violently killed through abortion.
Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains abortionist called CMP’s videos “fake”
Daleiden filed a separate suit in November 2019 against abortionist Savita Ginde after she made false claims about him in her book and during a TEDx presentation. The footage CMP gathered at Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains showed Ginde agreeing to a cumulative payment for each fetal body part, and Ginde heavily implied that PPRM lawyer, Kevin Paul, protected the facility from facing legal consequences for selling aborted baby body parts. Even though Ginde admitted in her book she had never watched CMP’s videos, she accused Daleiden of dubbing in words she never said and of heavily editing the videos to falsely implicate her.
Ginde attempted to dismantle CMP’s credibility further by maligning Daleiden as a “false prophet” and a “man without honor.” But a federal jury trial last October noted that any words attributed to Ginde in the videos had not been dubbed, meaning she is the one guilty of making false allegations, not Daleiden.
Planned Parenthood claimed multiple times it was the victim of a “smear campaign”
PPFA Vice President of Communication and Culture Melanie Newman told Rewire News in 2018 that Daleiden and CMP were part of a “multiyear illegal effort to manufacture a fake smear campaign against Planned Parenthood.”
The abortion provider tweeted similar comments about Daleiden after the conclusion of the trial in November 2019. Planned Parenthood wrote it was “thrilled with today’s verdict, which found the so-called ‘Center for Medical Progress,’ David Daleiden, and others who created a false smear campaign against Planned Parenthood broke multiple state & federal laws.”
Responding to Daleiden’s defamation lawsuit against the corporation, Newman once again attacked Daleiden in a statement to Fox News.
“These baseless claims are not new. They are just another desperate attempt by a discredited source to get publicity,” she said. “Last fall, a jury — with all of the facts fully presented to it — decided that David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress intentionally broke the law in a multi-year, malicious campaign to advance their goals of banning safe, legal abortion in this country, and preventing Planned Parenthood from serving the patients who depend on us. The result: Daleiden was ordered to pay millions of dollars in damages. And, he still faces criminal charges.”
In actuality, the jury did not have all of the facts fully presented to it, thanks to a judge connected to Planned Parenthood who refused to recuse himself, and who disallowed the jury from viewing pertinent video footage showing evidence of Planned Parenthood’s crimes. Liberty Counsel, the attorneys for Daleiden’s co-investigator Sandra Merritt, recently noted:
Throughout the six-week trial, Judge Orrick specifically influenced the way the jury considered the issues and blocked them from watching the recorded conversations on the undercover videos. Orrick also told members of the jury they couldn’t look at this as a First Amendment case, where freedom of speech and the press could be considered as a defense.
Planned Parenthood is continuing to make false statements about Daleiden. However, the CMP journalist took to Twitter to point out the change in Planned Parenthood’s defensive strategy against him.
“Notably, @PPFA Vice President declines to repeat their admittedly false accusation of ‘manufacture[d] a fake’ in her comment to @FoxNews about my defamation case,” Daleiden wrote. “But ‘malicious’? Still lying about me and my work. Maybe the lawsuit just got bigger!”
Something Newman and Planned Parenthood neglected to mention publicly was that employees of the abortion provider admitted to the truthfulness of CMP’s investigation in sworn deposition testimony. Planned Parenthood personnel attested that the statements CMP had captured on film had been “spoken by those persons.”
Planned Parenthood’s ‘shoot the messenger’ strategy is wearing thin, and sooner or later, more people will know the truth.
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