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Bought & paid for activist Judge blocks release of recordings byanti-abortion group
SAN FRANCISCO – A federal judge on Friday blocked the release
of any recordings made at meetings of an abortion providers'
association by an anti-abortion group that previously revealed
secretly recorded videos of a Planned Parenthood leader.
Judge William Orrick in San Francisco issued a temporary
restraining order against the Center for Medical Progress hours
after the order was requested by the National Abortion
In his three-page order, Orrick said the federation would likely
suffer irreparable injury absent a temporary restraining order
"in the form of harassment, intimidation, violence, invasion of
privacy, and injury to reputation."
The National Abortion Federation sued in federal court in San
Francisco, alleging that the Center for Medical Progress
infiltrated its meetings and recorded its members. The group
says release of any audio or video would put members in danger.
"The safety and security of our members is our top priority,"
Vicki Saporta, association president and CEO, said in a
statement. "That security has been compromised by the illegal
activities of a group with ties to those who believe it is
justifiable to murder abortion providers."
David Daleiden, a leader of the Center for Medical Progress who
is also named in the suit, said in a statement that Planned
Parenthood and its allies were trying to silence the group and
suppress investigative journalism.
"The Center for Medical Progress follows all applicable laws in
the course of our investigative journalism work and will contest
all attempts from Planned Parenthood and their allies to silence
our First Amendment rights," he said.
The center has released several secretly recorded videos that
have riled anti-abortion activists, including one Thursday of a
Planned Parenthood doctor in Colorado. It has accused Planned
Parenthood of selling fetal tissue for profit, which is illegal,
and Republicans in Congress have begun discussing cutting off
funding for the organization.
The undercover video released Thursday shows Dr. Savita Ginde,
vice president of Denver-based Planned Parenthood of the Rocky
Mountains, discussing prices of aborted fetal remains, the
center says. Planned Parenthood issued a statement calling the
video "misleading and deceptively edited."
An earlier video shows Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Planned
Parenthood's senior director of medical services, describing
techniques for obtaining fetal body parts for research. She
spoke over lunch with activists posing as potential buyers from
a human biologics company.
Planned Parenthood says it abides by a law that allows providers
to be reimbursed for the costs of processing tissue donated by
women who have had abortions. The payments cited by Planned
Parenthood officials in some of the videos range from $30 to
$100 per specimen, and the organization has subsequently
confirmed that is the general range, although there is no fixed
In Friday's lawsuit, the National Abortion Federation alleges
that the center created a fake company to get into the
federation's annual meetings in 2014 and 2015 and then recorded
its members with the goal of smearing abortion-rights supporters.
The suit sought a temporary restraining order barring the
release of any video or audio recordings, the dates of any of
the federation's future meetings and the names and addresses of
A California court this week issued a temporary restraining
order blocking the Center for Medical Progress from releasing
any video of leaders of StemExpress, a California company that
provides fetal tissue to researchers.
In one of the previously aired videos, a woman identified as a
former StemExpress phlebotomist describes drawing blood and
dissecting dead fetuses.
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