The Center for Medical Progress and undercover journalist David Daleiden are suing Planned Parenthood for defamation after the abortion provider told media outlets Daleiden “manufacture[d]” and “created” a “false smear campaign” in releasing video footage of PPFA employees discussing the harvesting and trafficking of aborted baby body parts.
After Daleiden’s videos were first released in 2015, PPFA denied the accusations of fetal organ trafficking, claiming the videos were “deceptively edited” and “missing footage.” PPFA filed a lawsuit against Daleiden and other CMP employees, charging them for violating the Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO Act) and engaging in wire fraud, mail fraud, invasion of privacy, illegal secret recording, and trespassing. A judge ruled against Daleiden and awarded PPFA $870,000 in punitive damages. Now, Daleiden is fighting back with a lawsuit of his own.
Despite publicly making claims the videos were “edited” and “fraudulent,” PPFA avoided questioning their authenticity in the courtroom and in their allegations against Daleiden. At one point in court hearings, PPFA even admitted that statements made by employees on video about their fetal tissue harvesting process were indeed “were spoken by those persons.”
“In its earlier lawsuit against David and the Center for Medical Progress, Planned Parenthood fought to avoid scrutiny of its illegal fetal tissue trafficking,” said Peter Breen, senior counsel for the Thomas More Society. “This new lawsuit puts Planned Parenthood’s grisly business practices front and center, to prove the truth of the conclusions of David’s investigation, which were also confirmed and echoed by the United States Congress and other government officials.”
Daleiden’s defamation lawsuit names two specific instances in which PPFA made false statements about him. In September 2018, Melanie Newman, a PPFA spokesperson, told Rewire News that Daleiden and his partners engaged in a “multiyear illegal effort to manufacture a fake smear campaign against Planned Parenthood.” The second instance named was a 2019 tweet posted by PPFA, again calling Daleiden’s undercover work a “smear campaign.”
After years of being forced to play defense, Daleiden and CMP are finally on offense against the abortion political machine. In 2019, Daleiden told The Federalist if he could do anything different after releasing his undercover videos, it would be to sue Planned Parenthood first.
“That clearly has been Planned Parenthood’s strategy for the past four years,” he said. “Ever since the videos exposed them for trafficking the body parts of aborted children for profit, they’ve been on defense ever since. And so they’ve tried to compensate for that by just shooting the messenger.”
Despite the years of legal battles now going both ways, Daleiden said he is willing to fight for these videos as his life’s work. “I’m absolutely willing to take it as far as it has to go to make sure that the First Amendment civil rights of … all Americans are protected and not able to be preyed upon by people like Kamala Harris,” he said.