LOS ANGELES — A California court has blocked the release of undercover investigative videos featuring one of the companies that allegedly purchases the organs of aborted babies from Planned Parenthood.
The Los Angeles Superior Court issued a temporary restraining order on Tuesday banning the Center for Medical Progress from releasing undercover video footage of representatives of StemExpress, a “a multi-million dollar company that supplies human blood, tissue products, primary cells and other clinical specimens to bio-medical researchers.”
Officials had allegedly been recorded during what they thought was a business lunch this past May. The company had also been cited during the first video released by the Center for Medical Progress, as abortionist and Planned Parenthood Medical Director Deborah Nucatola had been asked by investigators about the possibility of working out an agreement with the Planned Parenthood headquarters to obtain fetal organs rather than working individually with local affiliates.
“[W]e were approached by StemExpress to do the same thing,” Nucatola explained, but “it’s too touchy an issue for us to be an official middleman.”
The video also showed the StemExpress website, which included an order form for various fetal parts. According to reports, the company makes “anywhere between $488 to $24,250” from the liver cells of aborted babies.
Because the company feared that undercover video footage shot earlier this year with three of its officials would soon be made public, it filed for an emergency injunction in state court to block the release. It accused the Center for Medical Progress of invasion of privacy, breach of contract and unfair competition.
“Defendants are anti-abortion advocates,” its legal complaint reads. “In furtherance of their cause, defendants have engaged in a public campaign against Planned Parenthood.”
After the Superior Court granted the temporary injunction, which will remain in affect for nearly the next four weeks, representatives with StemExpress told the Associated Press that it is “grateful its rights have been vindicated in a court of law.”
But the Center for Medical Progress says that the legal challenge is frivolous and is the result of the company’s concerns about its activities being made public.
“Stem Express … is attempting to use meritless litigation to cover-up this illegal baby parts trade, suppress free speech, and silence the citizen press reporting on issues of burning concern to the American public,” Director David Daleiden wrote in a statement.
“They are not succeeding—their initial petition was rejected by the court, and their second petition was eviscerated to a narrow and contingent order about an alleged recording pending CMP’s opportunity to respond,” he continued. “The Center for Medical Progress follows all applicable laws in the course of our investigative journalism work and will contest all attempts from Planned Parenthood and their allies to silence our First Amendment rights and suppress investigative journalism.”
The organization says that it has nine additional videos to release surrounding Planned Parenthood’s harvesting and sale of aborted babies.