Undercover journalist sues Planned Parenthood for defamation

by Jenny Mount · Sep 18th, 2020 3:46 pm
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Last Updated Sep 19th, 2020 at 6:33 pm

The ​Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA)​ i​s under demands to pay damages to pro-life journalist David Daleiden and his Center for Medical Progress for allegedly defaming both in its responses to Daleiden's explosive undercover videos.

Leading up to the suit, Daleiden had been releasing videos of depositions in his civil suit with the PPFA saying that they had verified the horrific content of his claims and footage. One claim is that the Planned Parenthood Federation of America violated federal law by manipulating abortions in order to sell fetal tissue, something which PPFA continues to deny.

"Planned Parenthood admits my videos are true when under oath in federal court, but when speaking to the public, Planned Parenthood lies and calls the videos fake," he said in a released statement. "I have put my life on hold for five years to report, with video evidence, the trafficking of aborted infants that I and others witnessed at the highest levels of Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry. It is time for Planned Parenthood to face the truth."

Along with pointing out the statements made by PPFA accusing him and his organization of conducting a smear campaign, the complaint alleges Daleiden suffered reputational damages, personal humiliation, mental anguish, and suffering. Although Daleiden says that the actual amount will be much larger, his attorneys plan to seek more than $75,000 in damages — the amount required for a district court to take on the case.

However, PPFA Vice President of Communication and Culture Melanie Newman believes​ the lawsuit is a desperate attempt to get publicity, as she explained i​n​ a statement to Fox News.

"Last fall, a jury — with all of the facts fully presented to it — decided that David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress intentionally broke the law in a multi-year, malicious campaign to advance their goals of banning safe, legal abortion in this country, and preventing Planned Parenthood from serving the patients who depend on us," Newman said. "The result: Daleiden was ordered to pay millions of dollars in damages. And, he still faces criminal charges."

In a civil trial, PPFA sued Daleiden on allegations of fraud, trespassing, and illegal video recording. Although he was not found guilty of defaming the organization, Daleiden was ordered to pay $2 million in damages.

Daleiden's recent video raised questions about Planned Parenthood's compliance with partial-birth abortion laws. Although the original videos have been branded as inaccurate by the controversial D.C. firm Fusion GPS, an appeals court argued that the videos were "not deceptively edited."


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