Planned Parenthood has filed a lawsuit against David Daleiden (shown) of the Center for Medical Progress and also against the University of Washington to stop the release of documents that detail the abortion giant's relationship with the university’s Birth Defects Research Center.
Last year, Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress released 11 videos featuring secretly recorded comments from executives of Planned Parenthood and StemExpress, a California-based company that partnered with Planned Parenthood to supply human blood, cells, and tissue products to biomedical researchers — as well as undercover footage from some of the abortion giant's clinics. The videos revealed Planned Parenthood's illegal activities related to fetal organ harvesting, which included altering abortion procedures to procure fetal tissue, as well as selling fetal tissue for profit. Additionally, the videos raised serious questions over whether consent had been received from mothers seeking abortions to use their fetal tissue.
The videos sparked numerous investigations into the abortion organization, including one in Washington that concluded in November, clearing Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing.
Daleiden believes that the University of Washington is involved in Planned Parenthood’s fetal harvesting scheme and has been pursuing details regarding transactions between the university's Birth Defects Research Center and Planned Parenthood. In February, Daleiden and Zachary Freeman, communications director at the Family Policy Institute of Washington (FPIW), filed public records requests for documents pertaining to the transactions. Those documents were to be released on Friday, but Planned Parenthood filed a class-action lawsuit to stop their release.
The Birth Defects Research Laboratory, which receives $700,000 in taxpayer dollars annually from the National Institutes of Health, stores fetal tissue donated by Planned Parenthood and other clinics and redistributes it to research centers around the country. The laboratory claims any costs connected to the purchase of fetal tissue were reimbursements for transportation and storage, the Washington Times reports.
Daleiden declared, “Planned Parenthood and their allies have yet again stormed into federal court, this time demanding the suppression of public records about Planned Parenthood’s supply of aborted baby parts to the taxpayer-sponsored, NIH-funded fetal harvesting service at the University of Washington."
At the behest of state legislators, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson conducted an investigation into Planned Parenthood’s illegal sale of fetal organs and determined that the claims against the organization were “unfounded.”
However, Family Policy Institute of Washington (FPIW) Director Joseph Backholm said that his organization seeks to “verify” the attorney general’s findings, noting that the state investigators did not conduct enough of a thorough investigation and did not review contracts between the University of Washington Birth Defects Research Laboratory and those who supplied “aborted body parts.”
Life Site News elaborates,
Freeman decided to ask for records after FPIW found correspondence in which Deputy Attorney General Paige Dietrich, who was investigating whether the UW’s program violated state law, asked a university official for a “contract” between the lab and an outside vendor. “You will hold those confidential and not share with anyone without consent?” asked University of Washington Government Relations Director Ian Goodhew. Dietrich then canceled the request.
Backholm asserts that FPIW simply seeks to investigate what the attorney general would not.
“We’re looking for information about connections between entities and whether money was exchanged for human body parts,” Backholm stated.
But the lawsuit has successfully halted that investigation, at least temporarily, as U.S. District Court Judge James Robart has issued a temporary restraining order against the release of documents, and a preliminary injunction hearing is set for August 19.
The Washington Times reports that the class-action lawsuit represents 150 plaintiffs in multiple states connected to Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and Idaho, the Planned Parenthood Federation for America, and numerous other groups. The suit claims that the records’ release would violate the constitutional right to privacy of the plaintiffs, a claim that Daleiden’s attorney contends is simply a “smoke screen” to hide information.
“David didn’t request personal information, so if the University of Washington is in the practice of handing our people’s personal cellphone information in their open-records responses, that’s something that someone in the state of Washington needs to look at,” said Peter Breen, an attorney with the Thomas More Society, which represents Daleiden.
Similarly, Backholm opines that the lawsuit serves as a “distraction” in that it ignores the bigger legal question regarding the illegal sale of aborted body parts.
“The plaintiffs in the lawsuit claim that their safety would be in jeopardy if their identities became public,” Backholm said.
“Coming from an industry built on violence to others, this is deeply ironic. But that is beside the point,” he continued. “The conversation about who is a bigger threat to whom is irrelevant to the legal question about whether anyone in Washington was illegally profiting off the sale of baby body parts.”
Pro-life advocates contend this latest lawsuit reveals the abortion giant's desperation to silence its critics.
"This is just the latest desperate attempt by Planned Parenthood to bury information about its role in the illegal trafficking of aborted babies," says Life Legal Defense Executive Director Alexandra Snyder. "Planned Parenthood is once again using its immense resources--largely supplied by American taxpayers--to keep the truth hidden from the public."
Efforts to silence Daleiden have been blatant. Planned Parenthood has filed four lawsuits against him over the undercover video series, for example, while investigations that should have focused on Planned Parenthood's illegal organ harvesting scheme have instead examined Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress, albeit without much success. Last month, Daleiden was cleared of two charges in Texas: using a fake ID and attempting to purchase fetal tissue through a fake company..
Still, Daleiden intends to forge ahead in his pursuit for the truth.
“The American people, whose tax dollars make this entire barbaric industry possible, deserve to know the truth,” he said.
Seattle PI reports that Daleiden is also pursuing correspondence between multiple bioscience firms at Seattle University.
Photo of David Daleiden: AP Images