Federal Judge Orders Anti-Abortion Group to Cede Footage to NAF
On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled that anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress (CMP) and its leader David Daleidan must turn over all previously unreleased "sting" videos and outtakes of National Abortion Federation (NAF) meetings the group obtained surreptitiously as part of a smear campaign against the abortion provider.
U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick ordered CMP to relinquish some 500 hours of undercover footage to NAF per Congressional subpoena, but maintained the bar on the release of "any footage, documents, or communications that have not been specifically requested" by Congress. Daleidan and CMP had previously refused to hand over the footage in an effort to stall the progress of NAF's legal discovery into the group's "evidence" collection methods.
In a statement released Tuesday, NAF president and CEO Vicki Saporta underscored the importance of protecting those members appearing in the videos from harassment and threats of violence from anti-abortion extremists.
"We have never taken the position that Daleidan and the other Defendants in our case should be barred from providing compelled responses to lawful subpoenas," said Saporta. "Our focus has always been and continues to be safety and security of our members. We urge Congress to be mindful of the security risks faced by abortion providers, and the need for confidentiality as they conduct their investigation."
The release of several fraudulent videos by CMP which claim to capture the sale of fetal tissue by Planned Parenthood have been proven false repeatedly, but have nonetheless sparked endless state and federal investigations into the organization, NAF and abortion providers nationwide. To date, zero investigations ahve found evidence of wrongdoing.
In the meantime, NAF hopes the judge's ruling confining the release of materials to those requested specifically by the subpoena will further highlight CMP's potentially illegal activities.
"We do not believe that all the footage CMP stole from our meetings is responsive to this subpoena, and we urge the Committee to require Daleidan to also turn over all documents and emails relevant to the conspiracy and fraud he committed against NAF and our members," said Saporta.