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Court Order Lays Bare the Smear Campaign Against Planned Parenthood

2016 NAF Lawsuit

A U.S. District Court granted the National Abortion Federation (NAF) a preliminary injunction on February 8th, prohibiting David Daleiden and a number of other anti-abortion extremists from releasing recordings and materials they illegally obtained at NAF conferences. This came a day after Daleiden turned himself in to Harris County, Texas, authorities, and was processed, booked, fingerprinted, and had to post bond. His surrender follows a felony indictment by a grand jury related to his slanderous campaign against Planned Parenthood health centers.

The same grand jury, after reviewing the evidence for two months, cleared Planned Parenthood of all wrongdoing.

This ruling lays out a shockingly deep and disturbing conspiracy to target women's health care providers, at any cost. Daleiden and his co-conspirators are extremists, pure and simple. As details behind these anti-abortion activists' smear tactics come to light, it’s clear that this was part of a broader political agenda to ban safe, legal abortion. We are grateful to see the courts are holding these criminals accountable, and hope other officials will follow suit.

In a sweeping 42-page order, Judge William H. Orrick laid bare the fraud perpetrated against Planned Parenthood:

“During the Annual Meetings, Daleiden and his associates would meet to ‘discuss our . . . strategy for . . . the project and for the meeting,’ including ‘specific strategies for specific individuals.’ The associates were given a ‘mark list’ to identify their targets. The group also picked targets based on circumstance: in one instance, Daleiden tells ‘Tennenbaum’ that it ‘would be really good to talk tonight’ with a particular doctor ‘now that she’s been drinking.’

"The day before the first set of videos was released, CMP put together a press kit with ‘messaging guidelines’ that was circulated to supporters. In those guidelines, defendants assert that their aim for the Project is to create ‘political pressure’ on Planned Parenthood, focusing on ‘Congressional hearings/investigation and political consequences for’ Planned Parenthood such as defunding and abortion limits."

“I have reviewed those transcripts and recordings and find no evidence of actual criminal wrongdoing. That defendants did not promptly turn over those recordings to law enforcement likewise belies their claim that they uncovered criminal wrongdoing, and instead supports NAF’s contention that defendants’ goal instead is to falsely portray the operations of NAF’s members through continued release of its ‘curated’ videos as part of its strategy to alter the political landscape with respect to abortion and the public perception of NAF’s members.

“Moreover, a report submitted by NAF of an analysis of many of the ‘highlight’ and ‘full’ videos released by CMP concluded that the ‘curated’ or highlight Project videos were ‘misleading’ and suggests that the ‘full’ videos defendants released along with their ‘highlights’ were also edited.

“Defendants engaged in repeated instances of fraud, including the manufacture of fake documents, the creation and registration with the state of California of a fake company, and repeated false statements to a numerous NAF representatives and NAF members in order to infiltrate NAF and implement their Human Capital Project. The products of that Project – achieved in large part from the infiltration – thus far have not been pieces of journalistic integrity, but misleadingly edited videos and unfounded assertions (at least with respect to the NAF materials) of criminal misconduct. Defendants did not – as Daleiden repeatedly asserts – use widely accepted investigatory journalism techniques. Defendants provide no evidence to support that assertion and no cases on point.”

Last month, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California filed a federal lawsuit against Daleiden and a number of other anti-abortion extremists, alleging they had engaged in “complex criminal enterprise” in order to block women’s access to safe and legal abortion.

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