Media tries to downplay Daleiden victory as “technicality”

undercover abortion video

The abortion lobby had a lot riding on the prosecution of Center for Medical Progress leader David Daleiden. “Planned Parenthood’s accusers are the ones who really broke the law!” sounds like a slam-dunk for persuading the uninformed that Planned Parenthood was innocent of illegally profiting off dead babies’ organs, that abortion providers are actually the victims here, and that pro-lifers are not to be trusted.

Unfortunately for them, a judge’s dismissal this week of the charge that Daleiden sought to purchase human organs has thrown their narrative off-kilter, so now it’s spin time. At the Texas Observer, Alexa Garcia-Ditta writes what is ostensibly a hard news report on the development, but has so many misleading statements and crucial omissions that it reads more like a Planned Parenthood press release.

First, the headline states that Daleiden only evaded the charge on a “technicality.” What technicality?

In her four-page order, [Harris County Court-at-Law Judge Diane] Bull wrote that the indictment does not include both that Daleiden intended to buy, sell or acquire human organs in violation of the law, and that he isn’t subject to a legal exception that allows medical entities to recoup expenses for obtaining or transporting organs.

Republican Harris County DA Devon Anderson said in an e-mailed statement to the Observer that Daleiden’s defense team had never called for dismissal on the grounds identified by Bull.

Actually, Daleiden’s clear lack of intent to go through with any transaction gets directly at the heart of why the charge was bogus, because the law he was accused of breaking expressly requires intent for there to be a real violation—an intent, by the way, that couldn’t even have existed if, as Planned Parenthood apologists claim, PP officials never expressed a desire for illegal profits. This isn’t a technicality; it’s the essence of the charge.

Second, Garcia-Ditta’s opening paragraph repeats the mindless, dishonest talking point that CMP put out “a series of deceptively edited videos.” Neither a forensic analysis commissioned by pro-lifers, another forensic analysis commissioned by Planned Parenthood and carried out by a pro-Democrat firm, nor CNN could identify any of the mythical deceptive edits…yet “reporters” like Alexa here keep repeating it.

It’s enough to hope that, after CMP is completely out of the woods, they sue a whole bunch of folks for libel. Dubious interpretations of murky issues are one thing; specific, quantifiable false claims against someone are another, and propagandists will never change until there are consequences.

Third, she notes that the district attorney is a Republican (no mention that Anderson admitted she broke the law in publicizing Daleiden’s indictment prior to him being in custody or under bond, or that she failed to indict abortionist Douglas Karpen despite ample evidence of his guilt and declined to take prosecutor Lauren Reeder off the case despite her ties to Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast), and that “a Houston grand jury cleared the organization of any wrongdoing.”

If Planned Parenthood was innocent, that would have meant they never sought anything more than cost reimbursement for baby parts. But if that’s all that was on the table, then even if Daleiden had attempted to go through with a transaction, it wouldn’t have been a crime. Oddly enough, Garcia-Ditta never stops to wonder about this inconsistency.


Finally, she repeats the “Planned Parenthood is totally innocent” refrain:

So far, no state investigation has turned up any wrongdoing. Federal law allows patients to donate fetal remains after an abortion; clinics are barred from profiting from the tissue donations but can charge tissue procurement companies for overhead costs.

That only sounds conclusive if you don’t know that the state where most of CMP’s footage was filmed, California, never investigated Planned Parenthood, is the most pro-abortion state in America, and is so dedicated to covering for Planned Parenthood that lawmakers are moving to criminalize undercover video investigations.

Nor is it relevant to cite the legality of overhead costs when Planned Parenthood personnel are on video talking about their desire for more than that—paydays that must “be big enough that it is worthwhile,” “do a little better than break even,” etc.

This week’s events saw an injustice partially set right in a court of law. Unfortunately, injustices tend to stand much longer in the court of the mainstream press.

What is Live Action News?

Live Action News is pro-life news and commentary from a pro-life perspective. Learn More

Corrections or Questions

For corrections, or questions, please contact the editor at

GUEST ARTICLES: To submit a guest article to Live Action News, email with an attached Word document of 800-1000 words. Please also attach any photos relevant to your submission if applicable. If your submission is accepted for publication, you will be notified within three weeks. Thank you for your interest in Live Action News!

To Top