LOS ANGELES — Former Los Angeles County District Attorneys Steve Cooley and Brent Ferreira have joined the legal team supporting David Daleiden of the Center for Medical Progress, who was recently charged with 15 felonies for recordings made during the process of investigating the abortion giant Planned Parenthood.
The men appeared on a “Help David Defeat Goliath” conference call Wednesday night to talk about the charges and their belief that California Attorney General Xavier Becerra had wrongly applied the law to Daleiden’s activity.
“Attorney General Becerra is simply doing the bidding of Planned Parenthood and is using a law that does not fit David’s journalism at all to accuse him of a crime,” Ferreira said. “The statute itself says that it doesn’t apply to conversations being held in a public setting.”
“People who engage in public discourse have no expectation of privacy, and journalists who capture video footage of these conversations are protected by the First Amendment,” he outlined.
Cooley made similar remarks, noting that an eavesdropping case has not been filed in California in 17 years.
“This case should not have been been filed under any level of prosecutorial ethics,” he said. “They targeted David because they were corrupted (the attorney general’s office) [and] they targeted him because of his views, and that is beyond disgusting and is unethical, according to prosecutorial ethics.”
“I look forward to … getting in the court and exposing this incredible abuse of prosecutorial discretion against a very, very good person who did great work on behalf of a good cause to inform the public,” he said.
As previously reported, Becerra alleges that Daleiden and his associate Sandra Merritt wrongfully recorded Planned Parenthood employees and others without their consent in conducting an undercover investigation into their abortion practices. He charged Daleiden last month with 14 counts of covertly recording confidential conversations—one for each person—and one count of conspiracy to invade privacy.
“The right to privacy is a cornerstone of California’s Constitution, and a right that is foundational in a free democratic society,” Becerra said, according to the LA Times. “[We] will not tolerate the criminal recording of confidential conversations.”
Daleiden quickly pushed back, releasing another video the following day that shows an Arizona Planned Parenthood abortionist laughing about how much force it takes to dismember babies when Digoxin isn’t used, and that she first thought she needed to go to the gym just to get in shape for the procedure.
Planned Parenthood had claimed following the release of Daleiden’s videos, which were first posted online in 2015, that the footage had been deceptively edited, but Daleiden had also publicly released the hours-long recordings in their entirety in addition to his concise video highlights. All the videos may be viewed in their entirety on the Center for Medical Progress YouTube page.
Planned Parenthood partner DaVinci Biosciences and its sister company DV Biologics were also sued last October by Orange County, California District Attorney Tony Rackauckus after he found evidence that the company had profited from the bodily organs of aborted babies.
“From 2009 to 2015, the defendants obtained aborted fetus donations from Planned Parenthood and turned those donations into a profit-driven business,” he declared. “They did so by selling tissues and cells from the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, intestines, skeletal muscle and bones of the aborted fetus donations.”
Rackauckus outlined that the companies hired a marketing consultant to create promotional materials, including a catalog, to boost sales. His office found that profits included up to $674 in profit for each fetal heart, up to $233 in profit for each liver, up to $221 in in profit for each stomach, and up to $664 in profit for each small intestine.
The companies are accused of generating $1.5 million in sales, while also marking up shipping and processing costs.
The Congressional Select Panel on Infant Lives also issued numerous criminal referrals last year while investigating Planned Parenthood and its partners, including an allegation that Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast unlawfully sold baby body parts to the University of Texas.
It likewise came to believe from evidence that the University of New Mexico violated of the state’s Anatomical Gift Act, that Stem Express violated HIPPA to increase the harvesting of body parts for profit, and that DV Biologics received revenue for the body parts of aborted babies.
Specifically, the Committee noted in its report that StemExpress, Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR) and Novogenics Laboratories purchased the bodily organs of aborted babies from several California Planned Parenthood locations, and then resold them at substantially higher prices. The organizations are also accused of hiking the prices above costs for “transportation, implantation, processing, preservation, quality control or storage of” the body parts.
“[I]n June of 2014, an ABR technician obtained a 20-week-old fetus at a Planned Parenthood clinic, for which it paid $60,” the report outlines. “From that one fetus, ABR sold its brain to one customer for $325, both of its eyes for $325 each ($650 total) to a second customer, a portion of its liver for $325 to a third customer, its thymus for $325 and another portion of its liver for $325 to a fourth customer, and its lung for $325 to a fifth customer.”
StemExpress is accused of similar actions, paying Planned Parenthood $55 for a baby and then selling his or her body parts for $250 each, making $1000 from just one child.
The Committee also noted that despite Planned Parenthood’s “constant statements to the media that [its] affiliates had merely been recovering their costs” in receiving payment from ABR, StemExpress and other companies, its attorneys told the investigative Congressional panel that the Planned Parenthood offices only sought to determine their costs after-the-fact in light of national scrutiny.
“Around that time, Planned Parenthood announced it would no longer accept any payments in connection with its fetal tissue transfer programs,” Grassley explained.