Thomas More Society attorneys appealed a decision issued in federal court on April 7, 2021, granting the National Abortion Federation summary judgment and a permanent injunction in their lawsuit against undercover journalist David Daleiden.
United States District Judge William H. Orrick III handed down an order that declared Daleiden in breach of contract with the abortion provider association for filming at the group’s national conferences. Orrick also imposed a permanent injunction against Daleiden, preventing him from ever releasing hundreds of hours of his videos taken at those conferences. Daleiden’s prior video releases exposed the role of Planned Parenthood and others in the abortion industry in the sale of fetal tissue from aborted human babies.
“This permanent injunction covering up the release of incriminating video from a large abortion trade show strikes at the heart of the First Amendment,” stated Thomas More Society Vice President and Senior Counsel Peter Breen, who has been leading the not-for-profit law firm’s defense of Daleiden. “The American people deserve to see and hear what the abortion providers of this country are willing to say and do to skirt and even violate the law. We will appeal this decision, to vindicate David Daleiden’s rights and the rights of every brave undercover journalist in this country and to hold bad actors like the National Abortion Federation to account.”
What at first may appeared to be a case of “politics making strange bedfellows” is actually an indicator of how widespread the concern is over the abrogation of First Amendment rights in the decision delivered in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Hon. William H. Orrick III presiding. Orrick levied a $16 million judgement against Daleiden in the lawsuit brought against him after his undercover investigative videos exposed Planned Parenthood’s role in alleged illegal trafficking of aborted baby body parts.
Several amicus (or amici) curiae, “friend (or friends) of the court,” briefs were submitted to the Ninth Circuit on March 5, 2021, supporting a reversal of the lower court decision against Daleiden in the lawsuit brought by Planned Parenthood Federation of America and ten of its abortion facility vendors after Daleiden’s 2015 release of a series of investigative videos that exposed the underbelly of the fetal tissue trade.
Peter Breen, Vice President and Senior Counsel for the Thomas More Society, stated in March that the issues raised in this case were foundational.
“There are myriad reasons to reverse this civil judgement, including that Planned Parenthood admitted in court that Mr. Daleiden’s videos were authentic. However, we were forbidden any defense based on the truth of what Daleiden’s investigation uncovered. The filing of the Attorneys General addresses that issue head on,” Breen explained.
Attorneys General of twenty different states noted in their collective filing that the district court was incorrect in its assertion that Daleiden’s exposé videos contain “no evidence of actual criminal wrongdoing.”
The Attorneys General state that Daleiden’s work to expose criminal behavior led to multiple investigations by bodies of the United States Congress, as well as state and local jurisdictions. These inquiries affirmed in multiple cases wrongdoing on the part of Planned Parenthood and its business partners. Specifically presented are Texas’ termination of the abortion giant’s participation in its Medicaid program, Orange County, California’s prosecution of firms that sold fetal tissue acquired exclusively from Planned Parenthood, and the Arizona Legislature’s resulting prohibition of most fetal tissue transfers.