OAKLAND, Calif. — Attorneys for David Daleiden, a pro-life advocate and journalist who released videos on Planned Parenthood’s fetal-tissue procurement, have asked the abortion provider to prove it has not sold fetal tissue for commercial gain.
Daleiden was the project head for the pro-life group Center for Medical Progress, which in 2015 released several videos of conversations with Planned Parenthood executives. The videos alleged that Planned Parenthood affiliates were illegally selling fetal body parts for profit. Those accusations have since been dropped.
The recent legal action is part of Planned Parenthood Federation of America v. Center for Medical Progress, in which a court ruled last August that the videos had been obtained illegally.
At a July 19 hearing at U.S. district court in Oakland, California, Daleiden’s defense team, including attorneys from the nonprofit Thomas More Society, asked the court to compel Planned Parenthood to prove that its affiliates have not profited from fetal-tissue transactions.
The attorneys have specifically asked for documented invoices.
Planned Parenthood has said previously it followed federal laws that forbid entities to “acquire, receive, or otherwise transfer any human fetal tissue for valuable consideration.”
“We invite them to prove it,” said Peter Breen of the nonprofit Thomas More Society and a member of Daleiden’s legal team.
“The law is simple. If the payments received for fetal body tissue exceeded the allowable costs, then Planned Parenthood and its affiliates were, first, engaged in criminal conduct and, next, making a profit off of selling aborted baby parts,” Breen said in a press release Thursday.
Planned Parenthood said questions about the invoices have “zero bearing” in the case.
Daleiden’s videos appeared to show numerous Planned Parenthood and StemExpress employees discussing the procurement and selling of fetal body parts.
In 2014 and 2015, Deleiden posed as an employee of Biomax Procurement Services, a false-front biomedical research company. The National Abortion Federation filed a suit in 2015, stating the videos had been obtained illegally. In a court ruling last August, Deleiden and the Center for Medical Progress were barred from releasing more videos.
“Planned Parenthood is suing Mr. Daleiden because they claim that his investigative videos are ‘misleading’ and ‘broke the law,’” said Breen.
“Now they are being asking to prove their ludicrous accusations. The idea that this huge profiteer thinks that they can just say something without having to produce relevant evidence is preposterous.”