Last summer, David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) released 11 undercover videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s practice of illegally selling fetal tissue for profit. The videos quickly hit the radar of Congress and the rest of the world, and changed the landscapes of the pro-abortion and pro-life movements forever.
The series of undercover videos—titled Human Capital—weren’t intended to be the premiere show. The execution of Human Capital was amazingly sophisticated, and the topic—groups profiting from selling aborted baby parts—was particularly gut-wrenching and newsworthy. But now that Human Capital has achieved its main goal—Planned Parenthood no longer sells baby body parts—it is easy to see that the videos were also intended to act as a brilliant catalyst that exposes three of the abortion movement’s biggest lies.
Lie #1 – Abortion is About Unwanted Globs of Tissue, Not Unwanted Babies.
If a fetus is just a glob of tissue, why is there value in preserving its brain, liver, and heart intact? It is clear from the Human Capital videos that the fetuses being harvested, while being killed with the understanding that they are not human persons, have distinct body parts that have value precisely for their humanity. There is evidence of premature babies being delivered and living as early as 19-21 weeks’ gestation. And yet, in the videos, we learn babies at the end of the second trimester (27 weeks), and even into the third trimester are being carefully delivered to ensure that their parts are not damaged. There is also evidence that premature babies are sometimes actually delivered alive, then killed, and then dissected for parts. Which just goes to show that there really is no difference between “fetal parts” and “baby parts” except in the propaganda of the pro-abortion narrative. Science, and reason, view them as exactly the same.
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Lie #2 – Taxpayer Funding of PP is Needed for Women’s Health.
One of the biggest lies of the abortion movement is that being pro-life means being at war with women and women’s health. But abortion clinics, and Planned Parenthood clinics specifically, do hardly anything to serve women’s health. Eighty-six percent of Planned Parenthood’s revenue comes from abortion, and, as a result of Human Capital, it admitted for the first time ever that its clinics do not perform mammograms. In contrast, there are many non-profit clinics that do not profit from aborting babies or selling their parts, yet provide free mammograms, free pre-natal care, and free post-delivery care. Taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood is not needed to protect women’s health, and taking away that funding is not meant as a war on women. It is meant as an appropriate response to Planned Parenthood’s breaking of legal and moral codes through performing partial-birth and late term abortions, and running a baby body parts business on the side.
Lie #3 – Abortion is a Women’s Rights Issue.
The state of the law in America is actually quite schizophrenic. For the most part, it follows reason and science and treats babies—pre-born or born—as regular infants and protects them. In many states, pre-born babies can sue (through their parents) for battery if someone injures them. If a pre-born baby dies, her remains must be treated with respect and dignity, just like the remains of everyone else (no profiteering off body parts). And, in many states, the government can punish people who kill pre-born babies—it’s called fetal homicide. This is all because reason and science see no difference between pre-born and born babies. The only people who do are pro-abortion advocates, but they were influential enough to have an exception carved out of the fetal homicide jurisprudence which permits the mother of a pre-born baby to kill her baby. But this makes no sense. Arguing that only wanted pre-born babies have a right to life is illogical. The Human Capital videos opened up a discussion on all the laws that protect pre-born babies—who even knew there were so many fetal rights laws? When we see that the pre-born baby is being dissected for her arms, legs, heart, liver, and brain, and see that the laws being violated are laws that protect pre-born babies’ rights, it becomes clear that talking about abortion as a women’s rights issue misses the point entirely.
The Power of the Videos
David Daleiden, journalist and founder of the Center for Medical Progress, went undercover for 30 months in an effort to hold Planned Parenthood accountable for the way it was misusing taxpayer funding to run its partial-birth and late-term abortion and baby body parts businesses. Through Human Capital, he was able to document four distinct and egregious crimes: the selling of baby body parts for profit, the harvesting of those baby body parts without the mother’s consent, the altering of abortion procedures to harvest those body parts, and the harvesting of baby body parts from born-alive babies.
And as a result of David Daleiden’s efforts, (1) five distinct Congressional committees are investigating Planned Parenthood, (2) at least 12 states are investigating and trying to defund Planned Parenthood, (3) Planned Parenthood halted its practice of selling baby body parts, (4) the United States Congress voted to defund Planned Parenthood (but was vetoed), and (5) the abortion movement became so scared that they launched three lawsuits against David Daleiden personally and the Center for Medical Progress.
These lawsuits, brought by StemExpress (the baby body parts middle-men), Planned Parenthood (the baby body parts supplier), and the National Abortion Federation (who essentially tested the water before Planned Parenthood sued) have no merit. They were brought to discredit David Daleiden’s heroic efforts, halt his ability to release the Human Capital videos, and potentially punish him both civilly and criminally for what was top-notch investigative journalism. Like other attempts to discredit Human Capital, they will inevitably fall completely flat (remember the forensic report Planned Parenthood commissioned that ultimately concluded that there was no evidence of video manipulation?)
In recent days, Mr. Daleiden and Ms. Merritt have been burdened with a new legal challenge. In a bizarre turn of events, the District Attorney for Harris County, Texas, persuaded a grand jury to indict our clients for posing as fetal tissue buyers in an undercover investigation that exposed intentional criminal lawlessness by Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast. Mr. Daleiden and Ms. Merritt were indicted for possessing and using ID’s with different names than their own on them. But the law was never intended to act as a means of preventing undercover journalists from doing their jobs. Rather, the law was intended to stop people like identity thieves from stealing Social Security checks from seniors. The law also contains an exception that applies in favor of Mr. Daleiden and Ms. Merritt since it was not intended to stop the exposure of the criminal activity of government-funded organizations.
Mr. Daleiden was also indicted for offering to purchase human fetal tissue. This indictment shows that the undercover investigation was successful in documenting the fact that Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast intended to sell aborted fetal tissue for profit. Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast should be charged with that crime because only it, and not Mr. Daleiden, actually intended to participate in the criminal sale of aborted baby body parts.
Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast had the means and the motive to make money on the sale of aborted fetal tissue. BioMax Procurement Services, LLC, the test company set up as part of the Human Capital project, only served to collect evidence of Planned Parenthood’s criminal acts, not to actually purchase aborted fetal tissue or organs. Therefore, it is Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast that should be prosecuted, not Mr. Daleiden or Ms. Merritt.
These legal challenges will be both expensive and grueling, both for David Daleiden and us, his attorneys. Ultimately, though, it will all be worth it. The 11 Human Capital videos have softened the hearts of millions who can no longer ignore the issue of abortion. In some cases, Human Capital has even moved staunch pro-abortion advocates to become pro-life (or at least anti-Planned Parenthood). It’s nearly impossible to justify the perverse language, the callous attitude, and criminal actions that are captured in Human Capital. In the StemExpress litigation, we were able to prevent the court from issuing a gag order preventing CMP from releasing a Human Capital video, and now we will be representing David Daleiden in any appearances before Congress. Sooner or later, Planned Parenthood will lose its federal taxpayer funding, and sooner or later the Planned Parenthood and National Abortion Federation cases will be unveiled as the public relations distractions they are.