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The Center for Medical Progress Case

The Center for Medical Progress (CMP), a group of citizen journalists dedicated to monitoring and reporting on medical ethics and advances, has recently been releasing a series of damaging videos implicating Planned Parenthood’s involvement in the illegal harvesting of fetal tissue, fetal body parts, and whole fetal cadavers.

Over the last two-and-a-half years, David Daleiden, President of CMP, and his team of investigative reporters, have documented dozens of hours of conversations with key employees from abortion provider Planned Parenthood and numerous other key players in the abortion industry.

Due to the highly damaging nature of those videos, StemExpress, a broker that sells harvested fetal tissue, has launched a legal attack against Mr. Daleiden by filing a lawsuit for recording allegedly “private” conversations, which occurred in a public restaurant during the dinner hour. Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund has joined forces with Life Legal Defense Foundation to defend Mr. Daleiden’s right to investigate and expose unlawful practices.

On August 21, 2015, the Los Angeles Superior Court denied an application by StemExpress, to prohibit David Daleiden and CMP from releasing the investigative journalism footage obtained when Mr. Daleiden met with senior officials from StemExpress. The Court ruled that StemExpress’ proposed injunction would come into direct conflict with CMP’s rights, and that any harm that StemExpress might encounter would be “insufficient to counterbalance the constitutional harms that the injunction would cause Defendants.”

Although this is a key legal victory, the battle is not over. Although CMP is now free to release its Planned Parenthood videos pending the resolution of this case, the court could still rule that CMP violated the law in taking the videos. In its ruling that CMP could release the videos the court emphasized: “Plaintiffs have established the probability that they will prevail on their claim based on Penal Code § 632 [recording of confidential communications].”

This case will not go away. StemExpress was not able to keep CMP from publishing a video about them. But StemExpress still can, and will still try, to punish CMP and David Daleiden for publishing that video. If StemExpress succeeds in doing that, then it will set a horrible precedent – it will tell investigative journalists everywhere not to look into the abortion industry or they will be punished. The damages here could be tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars. A pro-life journalist should not have to choose between exposing the abortion industry and sacrificing his livelihood.
 

 LEGAL PAPERS________________________________________

The Complaint

The First Discovery Request

The Second Discovery Request

The Injunction

The Third Discovery Request

Declarations

 

Welcome to The Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund

The Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund’s mission is to defend religious freedom by providing protective legal services at the trial level to persons whose religious liberty and free-speech rights have been attacked. FCDF is a 501(c)3 nonprofit public-interest law firm which defends the conscience rights and religious freedom of those of all faiths and no faith.