Court Stops Release of Some Parts of Anti Abortion Videos

According to the Associated Press (via MSN), a CA court has blocked part of future videos released by the Center for Medical Progress.

“The Los Angeles Superior Court order issued Tuesday prohibits the Center for Medical Progress from releasing any video of three high-ranking StemExpress officials taken at a restaurant in May.”

A pro-life news site explains further:

The restraining order reportedly only pertains to the footage of the Stem Express employees, meaning that any other footage, including that featuring Planned Parenthood employees, can still be released as planned.

In an exclusive comment to LifeSiteNews after the release of the court order, Daleiden said that, at the end of the day, what happened in the courtroom may actually be a victory for the pro-life group.

“The ruling is very narrow, concerning only one specific meeting, and it is temporary and contingent pending further litigation,” he said. “The judge actually threw out completely the part of StemExpress’ case where they were asking to suppress the documents on their baby parts sales.”

“It was a much better day for us than it was for them and Planned Parenthood.”

The company claims that the videographers broke the law under California’s anti-wiretapping laws. The producers say they followed the law.

Here’s a statement from Center from Medical Progress:

StemExpress, a for-profit company partnered with over 30 abortion clinics, including Planned Parenthood, to harvest and sell aborted baby parts and provide a “financial benefit” to Planned Parenthood clinics, is attempting to use meritless litigation to cover-up this illegal baby parts trade, suppress free speech, and silence the citizen press reporting on issues of burning concern to the American public. They are not succeeding—their initial petition was rejected by the court, and their second petition was eviscerated to a narrow and contingent order about an alleged recording pending CMP’s opportunity to respond. 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 and suppress investigative journalism.

Regardless of your feeling on these videos, any time a subject of a controversial documentary film project is able to get any sort of injunction from the court, restricting any part of the release of that project, filmmakers should pay attention.

In this case, while Planned Parenthood has repeatedly claimed the information in the videos is false and “deceptively edited” (even though the entire interviews have been released) this temporary restraining order is not about that. It only pertains to whether the act of recording these people secretly was against the law or not.

Of course Stem Express doesn’t want more damning information shown. So they are using every means at their disposal to stop it. Planned Parenthood has set the stage already in their letter to news outlets. Part of that letter says:

“CMP gained access to Planned Parenthood facilities under false pretenses and filmed without securing approval from the Planned Parenthood staff being filmed or the patients whose privacy is compromised by this secret videotaping. The material should not be aired.”

I suspect Planned Parenthood to try some sort of legal action in order to “protect the privacy” of their patients.

As a filmmaker, I hope every legal effort to bar this content fails. Unless someone can prove that they knowingly put out false information, there is no reason this should be blocked. It would be a bad precedent for documentary films. So I want the video available.

As someone who is pro life, I want people to realize just how horrible these actions are. So I want people to see these videos.

[UPDATE: Here’s a post on the Constitutionality of the court’s actions.]

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