Planned Parenthood has filed a major lawsuit against the Center For Medical Progress (CMP) and its head, David Daleiden. The suit stems from the deceptively edited videos that CMP released last summer, in an effort to show Planned Parenthood officials engaging in illegal activity regarding the sale of fetal tissue.
The suit alleges that by engaging in the undercover video recording of Planned Parenthood employees, CMP has broken federal law, as well as state law in at least three states. According to The Hill, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California president Kathy Kneer told reporters, “Today, Planned Parenthood is going on the offense.”
In response, Daleiden said in a statement,
I look forward to deposing all the CEOs, Medical Directors, and their co-conspirators who participated in Planned Parenthood’s illegal baby body parts racket.
He also quipped, “Game on.”
Planned Parenthood officials have not settled on an amount of money they will ask for in the case. They say that they will be seeking “compensatory, statutory, and punitive damages.”
The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District Of California, alleges that the CMP videos were part of a
[C]omplex criminal enterprise conceived and executed by anti-abortion extremists. The express aim of the enterprise— which stretched over years and involved fake companies, fake identifications, and large-scale illegal taping—was to demonize Planned Parenthood, harass and intimidate its dedicated staff, and interrupt its operations, all with the ultimate goal of interfering with women’s access to legal abortion.
According to Mashable, Planned Parenthood officials have said that the release of the CMP videos was designed to occur as congress was about to begin debating whether to continue funding for Planned Parenthood services other than abortion. The federal “Hyde Amendment” prohibits federal funds from being used for abortion-related services.
The suit is being filed under the federal “RICO” (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) statute. Beth Parker, Planned Parenthood’s legal counsel, says that a decision in the case could take as much as 18 months. There is certainly a lot more to come about this story.
Featured image via Paul Sableman/Flickr