In 2015, pro-life organization The Center for Medical Progress began exposing via undercover videos the shocking practices of Planned Parenthood clinics that have been involved in the harvesting and selling of tissue and organs from unborn children. Several videos—one more disturbing than the next—showed high-level PP executives admitting to CMP undercover journalists that they often alter their procedures in order to preserve vital organs of these unborn babies in order to sell them to various companies who sell them for scientific research. (Check out the original postings here and here).
Just last week, with the release of another video, two CMP journalists, David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, were charged with 15 felonies by California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra. Becerra’s charges center on “invasion of privacy” issues, saying that recording someone without their knowledge is against California law.
It should be noted that Beccerra is a former Democrat member of Congress, and his predecessor, Kamala Harris has a long and friendly relationship with the nation’s largest abortion provider. Harris ran successfully for the U.S. Senate due in part to help from her friends at PP, that were undoubtedly paying her back for not going after them 2 years ago when the first videos were being released. Like Becerra, she too went after the whistleblowers at the Center for Medical Progress, but all those charges were eventually dropped as having no validity.
In this newest video, Dr. DeShawn Taylor, Medical Director Emerita of Planned Parenthood Arizona, is captured on tape making some pretty callous comments about her work, and how she profits off the destruction of the unborn. At one point, she talks about the strength that it takes in her upper arms to perform abortions where “disarticulation”—a fancy word for dismemberment—is done with the forceps. Remembering her glory days as a young Fellow training to kill innocent children, Dr. Taylor recalls having to “hit the gym for this. [laughs]. I need to hit the gym.”
As if that weren’t enough, this medical professional, when asked about how signs of life are determined during an abortion, Dr. Taylor admits, “the key is you need to pay attention to who’s in the room, right? And like, you know, because the thing is the law states that you’re not supposed to do any maneuvers after the fact to try to cause [fetal] demise. So it’s really tricky. It’s really tricky so, most of the time we do dig [digoxin], and it usually works. And then we don’t have to worry about that because Arizona state law says if any, if there’s signs of life, then we’re supposed to transport them. To the hospital.” Dr. Taylor also expresses her distaste for the word choice of those who do the paperwork once her job is done: “We have the people who do our paperwork for the fetal death certificates; they email us calling them ‘babies’. Baby this, baby that, baby so-and-so, and I’m like, that’s creepy!”
In Dr. Taylor’s world, calling an unborn human being a “baby” is creepy. No, what’s creepy, doctor, is that you go on to actually find some compassion—for your staff, who according to you, get creeped out when a baby actually comes out looking like—a baby: ““It’s not a matter of how I feel about it coming out intact, but I gotta worry about my staff and people’s feelings about it coming out looking like a baby.” If you can take watching the entire video, you can watch it here.
CMP journalists Daleiden and Merritt were only doing what journalists used to do as a matter of practice. Going undercover to break a story goes back a long way in our history as part of our Constitutional Freedom of the Press. It seems the attorney general’s office in California only cares about the state’s privacy laws when the journalists doing the exposing are those who agree with a particular worldview. As a California Democrat, it would be hard to imagine that Becerra himself hadn’t benefited from Planned Parenthood as he pursued public life. It’s also very strange that other undercover journalists using the same tactics as CMP had not been charged with breaking privacy laws there in the past few years. For example, in 2014 and 2015, a California animal rights group, Mercy for Animals, released some videos that showed cruelty against animals at a chicken farm. The organization was never charged with violating privacy laws, but the government did investigate the farm. This was also the case for incidents with other animal rights groups who exposed similar incidents of cruelty.
If California is going to limit freedom of the press there, they should do so across the board instead of making examples of David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt. Then they can free themselves from their already sketchy attachment to the U.S. Constitution. Better yet, maybe that whole succession movement in the Land of Fruits and Nuts will actually take hold.