This Monday, the Supreme Court of the United States denied anti-abortion activists their request to water down a lawsuit filed against them by Planned Parenthood. The lawsuit alleges the Center for Medical Progress illegally video recorded abortion providers and manipulated the footage to make it seem like they were telling fetal tissue for profit, Reuters reports.
The activists, headed by the Center for Medical Progress’s David Daleiden, were appealing a lower court’s ruling that refused to toss out fraud, invasion of privacy, and other claims filed against them by Planned Parenthood. According to Daleiden and his group, they were simply exercising their right to free speech when they made the ‘undercover’ videos.
In 2015, the Center for Medical Progress released secretly recorded videos which they claimed showed Planned Parenthood officials illegally selling fetal tissue. The videos sparked an onslaught against the women’s health provider from various right-wing factions, even prompting congressional inquiries. According to Planned Parenthood and other observers, the videos were heavily doctored to fit the activists’ narrative.
Planned Parenthood sued the Center for Medical Progress in 2016, accusing them of federal conspiracy and wiretapping crimes. According to the anti-abortion activists, they were being silenced for conducting investigative journalism.
The activists claimed they were shielded from the state law claims under another California law requiring dismissal of lawsuits that try to stifle free speech on a public issue, which is a guaranteed right under the state and U.S. constitutions. Laws meant to protect against nuisance suits that stifle free speech, known as known as an “anti-SLAPP” laws, are common in most states.
In a telling interview on CNN back in 2015, host Chris Cuomo confronted Daleiden over the alleged misleading nature of the videos his group released.
Watch the video, via RawStory:
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