Sandra Merritt and David Daleiden have been in court for nearly two weeks in a preliminary hearing on 14 felony charges of eavesdropping filed against them by California Attorney General and PP darling Xavier Becerra. The charges stem from undercover video recordings showing Planned Parenthood officials negotiating the sale of baby parts for profit.
Several Planned Parenthood abortionists have testified so far as has Cate Dyer, founder of the fetal tissue harvesting company StemExpress.
Life Legal attorneys, who have been consulting with the criminal defense team, attended a number of the sessions. It has been shocking to watch high level Planned Parenthood officials mislead the court and say things that directly conflict with their sworn depositions taken only a few weeks earlier.
For example, one Planned Parenthood abortionist was asked whether she cares that the videos made by David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt were released and responded, “of course I care.” However, in her deposition—taken under oath—the same individual said she did not care that the videos had been published because she is proud of her work and has “done nothing wrong.” A witness who lies on the stand can be “impeached” during trial, which means the jury may disregard his or her entire testimony.
When Cate Dyer took the stand, she reportedly testified that she received intact brains and even beating hearts procured from late term abortions. It is difficult to imagine how some of these whole organs could be harvested from fully developed babies without the children being born alive and struggling to survive. Not only is this an unthinkable, inhumane practice; it is a violation of federal law.
Today, the California Attorney General’s team prosecuting the case against Daleiden and Merritt demanded that the judge issue a gag order to keep you—the public—from hearing about the testimonies of abortionists and their allies. The last thing they want is for you to hear the truth about the gruesome body parts trade that goes on inside Planned Parenthood. Thankfully, the judge refused to issue the gag order.
The purpose of the preliminary hearing is to determine whether the Attorney General has enough evidence to go to trial. While it is possible that the judge may grant the defendant’s upcoming motion to dismiss based on insufficient evidence—and we certainly pray for that outcome—it is not likely as the standard of proof is low. If the defendants are convicted of all charges, they could be sentenced to more than 10 years in state prison. We are doing everything we can to help ensure that if anyone goes to jail in connection with the videos, it is Planned Parenthood and their cronies.
As the criminal hearing proceeds, Life Legal attorneys are preparing for trial in the civil lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood against the undercover investigators. The trial begins on October 2 and is expected to continue through into November
The stakes of the civil trial are high. Planned Parenthood is seeking millions of dollars in damages, alleging increased security measures after the videos were released, as well as exhorbitant attorney fees. PP’s attorneys are from billion-dollar-a-year law firms that routinely charge upwards of $900 per hour each.
As much as we believe all of the allegations to be completely without merit, we know that trial in the criminal and the civil cases will be a very real battle. Our attorneys have been preparing for years for this moment, but it would mean so much to us if you would commit to pray for them at this critical time!