NAPA, Calif., Sept. 17, 2015 — After Life Legal Defense Foundation and its allies filed an emergency motion on behalf of pro-life investigator David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has stayed discovery and ordered attorneys for the National Abortion Federation to respond to questions of importance raised in the associated petition for mandamus. NAF’s attorneys have until Friday, September 18, to file a response.
Also on Friday, the federal trial court will consider whether the restraining order it issued last month prohibits Daleiden, who has gathered voluminous video and documentary evidence concerning the abortion industry’s grisly trade in baby body parts, will be restrained from revealing his findings to law enforcement.
The discovery issues turn on whether NAF is entitled to obtain documents, recordings, and testimony from CMP and its investigators, or whether, as CMP and Daleiden contend, the lawsuit is a SLAPP action in which discovery is prohibited.
“SLAPP” stands for Strategic Lawsuit against Public Participation. The use of SLAPP suits against citizens voicing views opposed by powerful corporations has become such a problem that many states, including California, have passed statutes curbing such actions.
The Ninth Circuit’s order indicates that the higher court takes very seriously the objections raised by Life Legal and its allies to Judge Orrick’s fast-track rulings in favor of the NAF.
Said Life Legal’s Katie Short, prominent in a team of attorneys representing pro-lifers in this matter: “David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress are exercising their First Amendment rights in order to expose the unconscionable practices of Planned Parenthood and other abortionists. Despite howls of derision from abortion apologists, CMP’s video evidence has proven very effective in showing the public what the abortion industry is really all about. If these weren’t such a threat to the status quo, Planned Parenthood allies such as the National Abortion Federation would not be pulling out all the stops to silence them.
“It is especially revealing that the NAF is trying to stop David Daleiden and the CMP from speaking to law enforcement. If NAF and Planned Parenthood are as innocent of wrongdoing as they claim to be, why are they so desperate to keep witnesses from talking to investigators?”
News of the Ninth Circuit’s intervention comes on the heels of CMP’s release of a tenth video—in which a Planned Parenthood official assures a potential buyer that “everything we provide is fresh.”
At the same time, hearings into Planned Parenthood’s barbaric and illegal activities are already underway in the U.S. House of Representatives—and extensive further hearings are scheduled.