Aborted Baby Parts Undercover Videos Can Continue, Calif. Court Rules

(Screengrab: YouTube/Center for Medical Progress)Holly O'Donnell, a former fetal tissue procurement technician from StemExpress, discusses the ethical violations behind the company's procurement of aborted baby parts in the Center for Medical Progress' sixth video on Planned Parenthood.

Undercover videos showing abortion provider Planned Parenthood selling aborted baby parts can continue after biomedical company StemExpress failed, through legal action, to stop their release.

The Superior Court of the state of California issued a ruling Thursday denying StemExpress' request for a "specified discovery" that would have given them possession of the video and thus kept it from being released publicly.

"The Court, for good cause shown, may order that 'specified discovery' be conducted notwithstanding the general prohibition. Plaintiff seeks to demonstrate that such good cause exists. However, Plaintiff's papers fail to make that showing," read the ruling.

"Plaintiff does not persuade the Court that the discovery it seeks is necessary to obtain the preliminary injunction. That is because it appears unlikely that the Court is going to grant the preliminary injunction."

Expand | Collapse
(Photo: Reuters/Mike Blake)A Planned Parenthood clinic is seen in Vista, California, August 3, 2015.

The Superior Court went on to note that the "injunction Plaintiff seeks would prevent Defendants from disseminating the videotapes."

"First, this proposed injunction would constitute a prior restraint on the Defendants' rights under the First Amendment and the parallel protections under the California Constitution," continued the ruling.

"Second, even if Plaintiff's evidence demonstrates that the videotapes were obtained in violation of Penal Code Section 632, Section 632 does not prohibit the disclosure of information gathered in violation of its terms."

Jeffrey M. Trissell, attorney with the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund who is working on the case, told The Christian Post that his organization liked how "strong" the ruling was.

"Instead of analyzing whether the specifically requested documents or depositions were necessary, the Court jumped ahead and simply said that no amount of discovery would change the fact that it is 'unlikely' that StemExpress will win at the hearing for an injunction," said Trissell.

Trissell of FCDF also told CP that the ruling was "surprising" since the Court "had already given StemExpress a temporary injunction" last month, which is scheduled to expire next Friday.

"The Court had also denied a separate application we made on August 10 to dissolve the temporary injunction," continued Trissell.

"Due to the strength of the Court's ruling on the discovery hearing, we are cautiously optimistic that the temporary injunction will lapse on August 21."

During the summer, the Center for Medical Progress released six undercover videos showcasing various Planned Parenthood employees speaking about the sale of aborted baby body parts.

Pro-life advocates have used the videos as evidence that Planned Parenthood is illegally profiting from the sale of baby body parts, while pro-choice advocates have argued that the videos are deceptively edited.

Last month StemExpress filed a complaint against the CMP and got a temporary injunction barring the pro-life group from releasing a video showing officials from the company.

"The efforts of our legal team have been to ensure that no amount of legal intimidation will prevent the Center for Medical Progress from being able to release their videos on their schedule," said Trissell to CP.

"Our understanding is that the Center for Medical Progress will release approximately 10-12 videos at about a rate of one per week."