During the Planned Parenthood v The Center for Medical Progress (CMP) civil trial on Monday, a public accountant hired by Planned Parenthood after the CMP undercover videos were released, took the stand to discuss the “damages” Planned Parenthood suffered as a result of those videos. The problem is that Planned Parenthood is failing to see that any negative effects on their business from the videos are not a direct result of the videos themselves, but of how Planned Parenthood employees behaved in the videos and the part the corporation played in trafficking the bodies of aborted children. The videos simply exposed this.
Gregory Regan, a Certified Public Accountant with Hemming Morse, a forensic accounting firm, was hired by Planned Parenthood Federation of America to “measure damages sustained by the plaintiffs […] look at invoices […] and formulate an opinion” about the steps PPFA took to handle what their VP and COO called “infiltration” by CMP, according to Pro-Life San Francisco‘s Executive Director Terrisa Bukovinac. She said a slide of the damages claimed by Planned Parenthood was shown to the jury.
The plaintiffs listed “infiltration” and “security” as their damage categories with “infiltration” costing Planned Parenthood $489,165 and “security” costing $141,048. The total cost of damages was listed as $630,213. These expenses were undertaken because Planned Parenthood is attempting to prevent future undercover journalists from exposing their illegal and immoral practices.
Bukovinac told Live Action News that Regan testified the infiltration costs include the vetting of vendors and screening of attendees to conferences – a practice that should have been in place years ago based on Planned Parenthood’s “services” and the fact that they have a history of undercover investigators accessing their business locations. A more detailed slide revealed that the infiltration “damages” include the cost of conference badges which was listed as $7,554, conference ID scanners at the cost of $20,891, and a conference vetting subscription service that cost $13,022. Also included for “infiltration costs” were guards hired for four PPFA meetings at a total cost of $29,339. “Security” damages referred to security hired for Planned Parenthood staff members. Invoices for Kroll and Thacher services were included and Regan stated that Kroll was used as an “immediate response effort” while Thacher was hired to “review, develop, and implement new vetting practices” to “prevent recurrences of infiltration.” Kroll was hired again at a later date for “media monitoring” of threats of infiltration at the price of $44,228.
Costs were also broken down by Planned Parenthood affiliate and also included fees for reputation.com to wipe the internet of information about Planned Parenthood employees seen in the videos, along with security system costs and home guards.
According to Bukovinac, when defense attorney Vladimir Kozina cross-examined Regan, he asked him, “You agree with me that you are not offering an opinion on the cause of these damages?” Regan stated, “That is true.” He said his sole focus was on the timeline during and after the publication of the videos and that he only dealt with compensatory damages not punitive or reputational damages.
Kozina then referenced earlier testimony by Marvin Galloway, COO of PPFA, who stated that PPFA used reputation.com to “protect the brand.” Kozina asked Regan what he believes the word “brand” meant and he stated that he understood it to mean “restoring a level of security” for the perception of vendors and attendees to PPFA conferences. Regan stated that reputational costs “would not be within awardable damages” and that no analysis into whether or not the security upgrades Planned Parenthood paid for were actually necessary.
Defense attorney Chuck LiMandri asked Regan if the upgrades to security were “for preventing infiltrations in the future” and Regan said they were. This showed that the costs don’t actually represent “damages” done by CMP but instead are steps to prevent a future undercover investigation from taking place into Planned Parenthood’s questionable business practices.
Brandon Minow, Director of Events & Conferences for PPFA, took the stand. He oversees about 80 events each year and said he “works very closely with the security team.” Minow testified to using a third-party business to book hotels for conferences and events in order to protect Planned Parenthood. And before the hotel is told that it is Planned Parenthood’s event they must sign non-disclosure agreements.
Planned Parenthood attorney Sharon Mayo showed the jury a document from 2012 titled “Opposition/Extremist Groups By Name.” It listed organizations that Planned Parenthood would not want to have in the building on the day of the conference in order to prevent the hotel from booking events for these groups at the same time. Those organizations included 40 Days for Life, Live Action, Pro-Life Action League, Abort73, Operation Rescue, and Rock for Life, and listed the names of leaders including David Daleiden and one of his undercover actors for the Human Capital Project.
On cross-examination, defense attorney Peter Breen asked, “People have snuck into Planned Parenthood events before BioMax, correct?” Minow agreed. Breen asked, “Isn’t it true that Live Action has repeatedly done undercover investigations of Planned Parenthood?” Minow agreed. He said he was aware that Planned Parenthood had access to Daleiden’s picture since 2009 and said that event staff did not have training on ID verification. Breen pointed out that the ratio of attendees to security at the Medical Directors Conference was 10:1 and that Daleiden could have easily been spotted and removed from the event if Planned Parenthood’s procedures with their look-book of pro-life leaders had been followed.
Breen showed an email to the jury from Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountains CEO Vicki Cowart to PPFA leaders telling them that a quick Google search of the “BioMax” address easily showed it was not a real tissue procurement company and said she was frustrated over PPFA security – or lack thereof. She wrote, “If you have not been doing this level of security and vetting [a Google search], will you start immediately?”
Essentially, the defense showed that Planned Parenthood had been “infiltrated” (as they claim) numerous times in the past and therefore should have followed procedures and had better vetting and security in place before CMP began their undercover investigation. In addition, Planned Parenthood knew who Daleiden was and had his picture long before the undercover investigation began, and therefore, should have been able to prevent the videos that show their employees discussing the details of their involvement in trafficking the body parts of aborted children.
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