Between the years of 2014 and 2015, an anti-abortion group called the Center for Medical Progress’ founder, David Daleiden among others, infiltrated annual meetings of the National Abortion Federation and recorded his findings. They did so by posing as business executives looking to purchase fetal tissue. Because the National Abortion Federation represents Planned Parenthood’s affiliates, they responded to these findings by claiming the videos were “heavily edited to leave a false impression of wrongdoing.”
The National Abortion Federation ended up suing David Daleiden, the Center for Medical Progress, and a former board member Troy Newman in an attempt to put a halt to the spread of these videos. They left the fate of their public opinion in the hands of the court system. This case went all the way up to the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, and the Supreme Court sided with the National Abortion Federation.
The anti-abortionist videos will not be able to be released legally. “Legally” is the key word, as Daleiden and two of his attorneys were held in contempt of court for illegally publishing this blocked content online. David Daleiden and one of his associates, Sandra Merritt, were charged with filming Planned Parenthood employees without obtaining their verbal or written consent.
The effects of what Daleiden and his associates did can be traced to actual murder. In November of 2015, a man shot and killed three people at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic. When he was arrested, the man cited Daleiden’s findings, claiming that Planned Parenthood was selling baby body parts. The first amendment protects free speech but not a call to action. Daleiden’s accusations of Planned Parenthood were so strong that they are not even protected by the Supreme Court. These claims led to action; this action being the murder of three innocent lives in Colorado.
There are several confidentiality agreements put in place to protect the abortion providers’ identities and safety. This was interpreted to not be in violation of the first amendment because the defendants (Daleiden, the Center for Medical Progress, and others) were acting as “citizen journalists in an undercover investigation”. Whether you agree or disagree with the ruling, the big question remains: is the safety of alleged wrongdoers more important than the right to accuse them of wrongdoing?
For more information on this case, click the link below!