A federal judge cited the recent shooting at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood by a deranged man who registered to vote as an “unaffiliated female” as an indication the videos of National Abortion Federation (NAF) conferences – produced by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) – placed abortion providers at risk.
The AP reports that, in San Francisco, U.S. District Judge William Orrick III–who raised at least $200,000 for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign–says the undercover videos of meetings of abortion providers show no criminal activity and could put abortion providers at risk.
An attorney for CMP, Catherine Short, argues there is no evidence the Colorado shooter was motivated by the videos or that abortionists at Planned Parenthood have been directly threatened. She added the videos are important for the nation’s conversation about its abortion laws.
“It’s beyond dispute that this material is of significant public interest,” Short said. “I don’t think this court should be saying the public can’t handle the truth.”
Orrick – an Obama appointee – had granted a temporary restraining order against the release of further videos in August only hours after NAF requested the order. Public Citizen data show Orrick raised at least $200,000 as a bundler for Obama’s presidential campaign and donated $30,800 to committees supporting him as well.
Video footage of an NAF conference in San Francisco in April of 2014 features a panel of late-term abortion providers discussing how abortionists feel dismembering an unborn baby and inflicting pain. The abortionists speak knowingly about the realities of baby heads getting stuck and eyeballs falling into their laps during the abortion procedures – all to the laughter and applause of their audience.
SFLA president Kristan Hawkins said it is understandable that the NAF – a professional association of abortion providers – sought to restrain the footage of their conference.
“These tapes expose the gruesome reality that abortionists face every day, and the kinds of illogical justifications they use to end the lives of tiny human beings,” she explained. “This is the reality of abortion – eyeballs dropping in the laps of abortionists, heads getting stuck, women in pain – and to hear advocates laughing about the dismembering of babies is stomach-churning. Would the general public be laughing along with them?”
CMP released the videos of the meetings – claiming its First Amendment rights – that it says indicate Planned Parenthood employees are selling fetal tissue for profit, a criminal offense. NAF said the videos violate agreements CMP entered into not to make such recordings of any meetings or discussions at NAF’s conferences and not to reveal information from its conferences to third parties without seeking consent of NAF first.
CMP released the following statement regarding NAF’s lawsuit:
The First Amendment liberties of freedom of speech and of the citizen press are under attack in the censorial lawsuit brought against CMP by the National Abortion Federation, Planned Parenthood’s allies and proxy group. The National Abortion Federation is a criminal enterprise and a key partner in Planned Parenthood’s late-term abortion and baby body parts business. NAF seeks a Preliminary Injunction gag-order to silence CMP from publishing the evidence of criminal activity between NAF and Planned Parenthood and to censor the video evidence already released…
“Here clearly, our expectation was that we were creating a safe place for our people to dialogue and learn and address problems,” said NAF attorney Linda Shostak.
CMP is the producer of a series of videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s apparent practices of selling the body parts of aborted babies on the open market and altering the position of babies during abortions in order to harvest intact body parts. Planned Parenthood is currently under investigation by several congressional committees.
Congress passed a $1.6 trillion omnibus measure last week – which was signed into law by Obama – that continues taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood.