A federal California judge issued a restraining order against the Center for Medical Progress, a non-profit organization concerned with medical ethics which sparked a national controversy last month after posting on YouTube a covert video showing a Planned Parenthood top official making an offer on selling fetal issue to two of the group’s undercover representatives.
According to court documents, the same group covertly recorded discussions that took place during several meetings of the National Abortion Federation (NAF). The restraining order was issued by District Judge William H. Orrick III hours later NAF filed a complaint.
The judge argued that the said restraining order is “in the public interest” since NAF leaders may be affected by “irreparable injury” through intimidation, invasion of privacy, and harassment from the part of Center for Medical Progress (CMP).
The head of CMP David Daleiden (pictured) argued Friday that NAF was in fact “a criminal organization” that had close ties with Planned Parenthood and helped the latter in its illegal business of selling fetal issue, or simply put baby parts.
Under the federal laws, selling fetal tissue is a felony punishable with $500,000 fine and up to ten years jail time. Mr. Daleiden said that both organizations conspired on violating federal laws related to partial abortion and fetal tissue commercialization.
“The Center for Medical Progress will contest any attempts to suppress our First Amendment rights to free speech or silence the freedom of the citizen press,”
Mr. Daleiden added.
But NAF leaders argue that the restraining order was necessary because the videos were made illegally. Yet, one may wonder who on Earth would let some outsider record a video that would expose them to federal prosecution and throw them in jail.
NAF claims that its meetings are designed to gather abortion professionals and train them in an environment free of “harassment or intimidation.” Plus, many of the NAF members are high-profile targets of pro-life groups.
In 2014, several Center for Medical Progress representatives managed to infiltrate into the professional group’s annual meeting held at San Francisco by posing as executives of a biotech start-up. This year, they repeated the move at NAF’s annual conference in Baltimore.
On both occasions, CMP staffers made undercover recordings of the conferences although they had signed an agreement on not to videotape the talks.
Currently, Mr. Daleiden says that both Planned Parenthood and NAF make use of their political ties to block the release of more compromising videos. Obama administration, however, deemed the group “extremists on the right.” But on the other hand, Judge Orrick was nominated by President Obama and he even made a donation to the chief executive of the state during his 2008 campaign.
Image Source: Christian Examiner
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