Court bars release of new fetal body parts video

A local court in Los Angeles has issued a restraining order barring the Center for Medical Progress from releasing a video showing executives of StemExpress discussing the purchase of fetal body parts.

StemExpress is a middleman in the fetal body parts selling industry, purchasing parts from Planned Parenthood and selling them to researchers.

Associated Press:

The Los Angeles Superior Court order issued Tuesday prohibits the Center for Medical Progress from releasing any video of three high-ranking StemExpress officials taken at a restaurant in May. It appears to be the first legal action prohibiting the release of a video from the organization.

The Center for Medical Progress has released three surreptitiously recorded videos to date that have riled anti-abortion activists. The Senate is expected to vote before its August recess on a Republican effort to bar federal aid to Planned Parenthood in the aftermath of the videos' release.

In a statement Wednesday, center leader David Daleiden said StemExpress was using "meritless litigation" to cover up an "illegal baby parts trade."

"The Center for Medical Progress follows all applicable laws in the course of our investigative journalism work," he said.

StemExpress is a Placerville-based company started in 2010 that provides human tissue, blood and other specimens to researchers. Planned Parenthood is one of the company's providers of fetal tissue.

A company spokesman said StemExpress is "grateful its rights have been vindicated in a court of law."

In the first video released by the Center for Medical Progress, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood's senior director of medical services, describes techniques for obtaining fetal body parts for researchers to activists posing as potential buyers from a human biologics company over lunch. When asked about partnering with Planned Parenthood directly rather than through its affiliates, Nucatola mentioned StemExpress as one company that had approached them.

In another previously released video, a woman identified as a former StemExpress phlebotomist describes drawing blood and dissecting dead fetuses.

"I thought I was going to be just drawing blood, not procuring tissue from aborted fetuses," the employee, Holly O'Donnell, said.

Planned Parenthood's affiliates in fewer than five states provide fetal tissue for researchers, according to the organization. The Center for Medical Progress accuses the group of illegally making a profit from that.

California has strict laws regarding the surreptitious recording of someone without his consent, and broad protections for individuals and companies against being recorded against their will.  I will leave it to the lawyers to argue the merits of the injunction, but the CMP are no dummies, and I can't believe they didn't take every precaution to follow the law in recording their videos.

The injunction does not cover any additional videos in CMP's possession, including videos involving Planned Parenthood personnel.  It's a clever PR strategy by CMP to release a video every few days rather than dump them on the net all at once.  This way, it discomfits PP's supporters and keeps anti-abortion activists engaged. 

A local court in Los Angeles has issued a restraining order barring the Center for Medical Progress from releasing a video showing executives of StemExpress discussing the purchase of fetal body parts.

StemExpress is a middleman in the fetal body parts selling industry, purchasing parts from Planned Parenthood and selling them to researchers.

Associated Press:

The Los Angeles Superior Court order issued Tuesday prohibits the Center for Medical Progress from releasing any video of three high-ranking StemExpress officials taken at a restaurant in May. It appears to be the first legal action prohibiting the release of a video from the organization.

The Center for Medical Progress has released three surreptitiously recorded videos to date that have riled anti-abortion activists. The Senate is expected to vote before its August recess on a Republican effort to bar federal aid to Planned Parenthood in the aftermath of the videos' release.

In a statement Wednesday, center leader David Daleiden said StemExpress was using "meritless litigation" to cover up an "illegal baby parts trade."

"The Center for Medical Progress follows all applicable laws in the course of our investigative journalism work," he said.

StemExpress is a Placerville-based company started in 2010 that provides human tissue, blood and other specimens to researchers. Planned Parenthood is one of the company's providers of fetal tissue.

A company spokesman said StemExpress is "grateful its rights have been vindicated in a court of law."

In the first video released by the Center for Medical Progress, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood's senior director of medical services, describes techniques for obtaining fetal body parts for researchers to activists posing as potential buyers from a human biologics company over lunch. When asked about partnering with Planned Parenthood directly rather than through its affiliates, Nucatola mentioned StemExpress as one company that had approached them.

In another previously released video, a woman identified as a former StemExpress phlebotomist describes drawing blood and dissecting dead fetuses.

"I thought I was going to be just drawing blood, not procuring tissue from aborted fetuses," the employee, Holly O'Donnell, said.

Planned Parenthood's affiliates in fewer than five states provide fetal tissue for researchers, according to the organization. The Center for Medical Progress accuses the group of illegally making a profit from that.

California has strict laws regarding the surreptitious recording of someone without his consent, and broad protections for individuals and companies against being recorded against their will.  I will leave it to the lawyers to argue the merits of the injunction, but the CMP are no dummies, and I can't believe they didn't take every precaution to follow the law in recording their videos.

The injunction does not cover any additional videos in CMP's possession, including videos involving Planned Parenthood personnel.  It's a clever PR strategy by CMP to release a video every few days rather than dump them on the net all at once.  This way, it discomfits PP's supporters and keeps anti-abortion activists engaged.