[starbox]There’s an abortion battle going on in California that may have repercussions for just about every state in the Union as well as ongoing investigations into organizations that operate in the shadows and need the light to shine on their nefarious activities. Such is the situation with the following:
The State of California ordered videos of conversations with Planned Parenthood affiliates censored and filed felony charges for recording them without consent. Center for Medical Progress CEO David Daleiden and his associate Sandra Merritt were charged Tuesday, March 28 with fifteen felonies after masquerading as harvesters of fetal remains at the National Abortion Federation’s 2014 conference in San Francisco. At issue is the video the two secretly recorded.
Mr. Daleiden maintains that the videos have First Amendment protection as the results of the investigative reporting process, and called the charges “bogus charges from Planned Parenthood’s political cronies” as well as fake news. TrueNews.com further quotes Daleiden:
The public knows the real criminals are Planned Parenthood and their business partners like StemExpress and DV Biologics—currently being prosecuted in Orange County—who have harvested and sold aborted baby body parts for profit for years in direct violation of state and federal law. I look forward to showing the entire world what is on our yet-unreleased video tapes of Planned Parenthood’s criminal baby body parts enterprise.
One of the videos can be viewed at the TrueNews.com article linked above, and more of their videos can be seen on their YouTube channel. The tape does seem heavily edited to maximize sensationalism, but they certainly show that the abortionists have total disregard for the lives of infants or any laws that restrict abortions. More importantly, they show abortionists admitting to altering abortion procedures to maximize the potential for harvested parts.
One even comes close to acknowledging that she would allow an infant to die if it managed to be born alive before the abortion could be completed. In response to Mr. Daleiden’s question regarding verifying vital signs, Dr. DeShawn Taylor answered with a suggestive “The key is, you need to pay attention to who’s in the room, right?”
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra does not feel that Daleiden’s videos fall under the protection of the First Amendment or that they expose dangerous and illegal abortion procedures. Becerra’s claim that the videos don’t reveal at least the willingness to perform dangerous and illegal abortions is preposterous, no matter how the videos were obtained.
As a side note, perhaps it bears mentioning at this point that the former Attorney General who actually initiated the investigation against Daleiden – U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) – apparently received over eighty thousand dollars from Planned Parenthood in campaign contributions. This certainly explains why Daleiden asserts that California officials were “Planned Parenthood’s political cronies.”
While most of the country allows a conversation to be recorded so long as one participant consents, California is a two-party state – meaning that in California, both parties in a conversation have to be aware of and consent to recordings. By a strict interpretation of California privacy law, David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt did, in fact, commit about fifteen felonies. A strong case can be made for Mr. Daleiden’s First Amendment right while acting as an investigator. As well, the state of California has no qualms recording people during their own investigations without the consent of the participants.
Regardless of how they were obtained, barring the videos from being published is a gross violation of the First Amendment, as it represents a restriction of both free speech and the press. David Daleiden may not have had the legally recognized right to record his videos without the consent of everyone in them – as he would have in most parts of the country – but he certainly has the right to espouse his beliefs that abortion is murder.