Jury Sides with Planned Parenthood in Civil Suit Against Undercover Pro-Life Advocates
This isn't just a loss for unborn babies, pro-lifers everywhere, and especially Sandra Merritt and David Dalieden. This is a loss for the First Amendment. Today a jury awarded Planned Parenthood $2.2 million in a civil lawsuit Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc.et al v. Center for Medical Progress et al. If you need a quick refresher, Center for Medical Progress exposed Planned Parenthood for the selling of baby parts, which meant the abortion giant had to alter abortion procedures to procure those parts. It's not just ghoulish, it's downright evil. And illegal. Checkout Newly Released Undercover Audio Features Discussion on How Unborn Babies Are Delivered Whole to Harvest Organs.
Despite learning some disturbing truths, the jury sided with the billion-dollar abortion mill which makes its cash from killing unborn children. Hey, I never said I was without bias.
From Liberty Counsel who represented Sandra Merritt:
Judge Orrick had ordered the jury to find Merritt and Daleiden guilty of trespassing for their undercover journalism at Planned Parenthood conferences and clinics before the jury retired to consider a verdict. The judge said the jury must accept his rulings and only decide if Planned Parenthood suffered damage from the trespass and what damages they should be awarded. Orrick also told the jury it couldn't look at this as a First Amendment case, where freedom of speech and the press could be considered as a defense.
It should be noted Planned Parenthood initially asked for $20 million in damages, so $2.2 mil isn't as bad as it could get. But this Judge Orrick character sounds like the kind of guy I'd like to meet in a dark alley to... administer a playful pillow spanking. Since I don't want to be accused of inciting or advocating of violence. No sir. I wish nothing but pillows for Orrick. If those pillows happen to be filled with gravel, oh well.
In 2017, Orrick was asked to recuse himself from the case as he has had “an ongoing and longstanding professional relationship with Planned Parenthood.” Judge Orrick is a founder of the Good Samaritan Family Resource Center, a San Francisco-based organization that houses a Planned Parenthood facility within its complex.
But he didn't recuse himself. Instead, he acted on Planned Parenthood's behalf. In the industry, we call this "having the deck stacked against you." Also "being Satan's lackey."
Here's the thing though, as much as this sucks for Daleiden and Merritt, this case has implications for you too. Thomas Brejca, President of the Thomas More Society and chief counsel, said this:
This case puts the constitutionally guaranteed right to free speech on trial. It tests the sacred tenet of freedom of the press. Planned Parenthood decided that it was above the law. Planned Parenthood was wrong, and I am confident that we will win on appeal.
So now this case goes up to the next level in appeals. How far this sucker will go, no one quite yet knows.
Despite what Orrick told the jury, this case does have implications for the First Amendment. The undercover journalists wanted to and did, expose criminal wrongdoing of Planned Parenthood. The journalists did have the intent to uncover criminal behavior. Mission accomplished.
So, what does this mean for the First Amendment right to freedom of speech and freedom of the press? Had everything been the same, but Daliedn and Merritt went undercover at Foster Farms to expose the way chickens were treated before slaughter, or Merril Lynch to expose financial malfeasance, wouldn't the left have come running to their defense, proclaiming First Amendment protections?
Yes, the left would have. Had this been a vegan case, or a way to expose evil billionaires, media would've stood firmly behind Merritt and Daleiden. But they didn't. Instead, this was a case about exposing the evils of Planned Parenthood. Since the Democrats fill its coffers with much of Planned Parenthood's dollars, keeping the money flowing above protecting the First Amendment was all that mattered.
Journalists everywhere should be quite concerned. And so should you.
To donate to Sandra Merritt's legal defense, click here. To donate to David Dalieden's legal defense, click here.
Copy of the jury's verdict is here.
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