Pro-life journalists David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt of the Center for Medical Progress recently pled not guilty to ten felony counts. The undercover reporters were arraigned in the San Franciso Superior Court for documenting Planned Parenthood’s illegal trafficking of aborted baby body parts.
The pair had previously been hit with 15 criminal charges, but six of them were dropped during a preliminary hearing back in September. The prosecution added a charge regarding Daleiden and Merritt’s use of fake IDs, but the defense has argued the last minute edition of the charge means it should be excluded.
Posing as representatives of the fake BioMax Procurement Services company, the CMP journalists recorded Planned Parenthood staff and procurement specialists from StemExpress discussing the compensation the abortion provider would receive for the sale of aborted body parts. The videos also featured abortionists admitting to dangerously altering procedures to avoid damaging the valuable parts.
One Planned Parenthood Medical Director, Dr. Mary Gatter, was taped expressing excitement about the profit she’d make from the sale, stating, “I want a Lamborghini.”
Planned Parenthood was awarded over $2 million in damages in their civil lawsuit against CMP, and with a criminal trial expected to take place in late 2020 or 2021, Daleiden and Merritt may face jail time for their undercover journalism.
Interestingly, an animal rights organization utilized the same undercover reporting techniques as the CMP to expose the abuse of chickens in the meat industry. This was around the same timeframe as the CMP’s investigation, but the animal rights group faced no legal charges.
Defense attorney Peter Breen told The Federalist that Daleiden is being unfairly charged:
“David Daleiden is being charged as a criminal for using the same investigative reporting techniques regularly exercised by other journalists. These industry practices are often lauded and rewarded, but here in California, Mr. Daleiden is being charged as a criminal and threatened with years in prison for shining his investigative light on the dark secrets of the abortion industry.”