First came lawsuits filed by the National Abortion Federation and Planned Parenthood, and then on Jan. 25, the Monday after the March for Life in Washington, D.C., David Daleiden of the Center for Medical Progress learned that he and Sandra Merritt, his partner at the citizen-journalism organization, are being indicted by a grand jury in Texas. On hearing such daunting news, most of us would want to head for the hills or throw up our hands and quit.
But the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) is not quitting. As a matter of fact, the lawsuits and indictment, if anything, are working to strengthen the resolve of the investigators whose undercover work put the abortion industry under the brightest and biggest spotlight since the Roe v. Wade decision.
In the lawsuits and the indictment, the CMP is being accused of everything from secret taping and trespassing to tampering with government records to violating a Texas prohibition on the purchase and sale of human organs. Talk about a twisted reality. Never mind the fact that Daleiden had no intention of actually buying body parts, but what about the folks on the other end of the alleged sale? How can you charge the person allegedly attempting to buy something prohibited but not go after those attempting to sell the prohibited body parts to begin with?
It makes no sense at all, but sense, decency, human dignity and due process are all thrown out the window when it comes to the dirty business of abortion. And this is exactly what Daleiden is trying to prove. Despite the videos’ success in exposing the ugliness of the abortion industry, this still is a definite David and Goliath situation. Planned Parenthood has lots of money, political power and all kinds of connections. Is it just coincidence that a prosecutor in the Houston district attorney’s office is on the board of the local Planned Parenthood? This is the same office that announced the indictment.
But while the CMP plans to defend itself against the allegations, it also has acknowledged the good that can come from the case: namely, helping them reach their endgame in bringing more of the evils of abortion into the light of public scrutiny and further investigation. “The Center for Medical Progress uses the same undercover techniques that investigative journalists have used for decades in exercising our First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and of the press, and follows all applicable laws. We respect the processes of the Harris County District Attorney, and note that buying fetal tissue requires a seller as well. Planned Parenthood still cannot deny the admissions from their leadership about fetal organ sales captured on video for all the world to see,” Daleiden said in a statement.
Lila Rose, who runs Live Action, a prominent pro-life youth organization, said the legal maneuverings are signs of desperation to crush any dissent to abortion on demand. “Planned Parenthood’s abortion operations are not above the law. It is time for every American of good conscience to stand up and decry Planned Parenthood. May its arrogance and barbaric practices lead to its downfall.”
If they proceed with the lawsuits, and if the D.A. in Houston decides to prosecute, then the CMP won’t be the only ones having to answer questions and provide all kinds of information under oath. So will Planned Parenthood. In other words, Planned Parenthood and their numerous cohorts may be protesting too much, and the legal action really could be a gift for the CMP and the pro-life movement in general. Real blessings in disguise. See you in court.
This column first appeared on OSV Newsweekly, to read Teresa’s latest OSV columns click here.