LOS ANGELES — A judge with the Superior Court of California has denied the Planned Parenthood client StemExpress access to undercover videos and documents surrounding officials with the “fetal tissue” company.
As previously reported, StemExpress had 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.
A temporary injunction in the matter was granted, but as the company then sought to obtain copies of the videos in discovery phase as well as any documents surrounding the Center for Medical Progress’ investigation into StemExpress, Superior Court Judge Joanne O’Donnell denied the request and noted that a further injunction is unlikely.
“Plaintiff does not persuade the court that the discovery it seeks is necessary to obtain the preliminary injunction. That is because it appears unlikely that the court is going to grant the preliminary injunction,” she wrote on Thursday.
“The injunction Plaintiff seeks would prevent Defendants from disseminating the videotapes,” O’Donnell continued. “First, this proposed injunction would constitute a prior restraint on the defendants’ rights under the First Amendment and the parallel protections under the California Constitution.”
Pro-life organizations are now applauding the move.
“People who don’t have anything to hide don’t go to court to stop journalists from reporting the truth,” said Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund President Chuck LiMandri in a statement.
“The court was right to deny StemExpress’ request to gain access to damaging material against them obtained through solid investigative journalism,” he continued. “Americans have the right to know the truth about Planned Parenthood’s sale of baby body parts and the ‘fiscal rewards’ StemExpress says that it provides to abortion clinics.”
As previously reported, on Wednesday, the Center for Medical Progress released its sixth expose’ video, this time presenting an interview with a former StemExpress procurement technician, who explained that the company perceived pregnant women as walking dollar signs.
“Pregnancy tests are potential pregnancies, therefore potential specimens. So it’s just taking advantage of the opportunities,” Holly O’Donnell explained.
“I’m not going to tell a girl to kill her baby just to get money,” she said. “And that’s what this company does. Straight up. That’s what this company does.”