Center for Medical Progress, the anti-choice group behind the deceptively edited video attacking Planned Parenthood, is run by an activist with ties to discredited conservative groups and a board member who believes killing abortion doctors is “legally justified.”
Conservative Group Claims Planned Parenthood “Sells The Body Parts Of Aborted Fetuses”
Center For Medical Progress: Video Proves Planned Parenthood Is “Selling Aborted Baby Parts.” The Center for Medical Progress (CMP) released a video July 14 that it claimed shows Planned Parenthood Federation of America's Senior Director of Medical Services Dr. Deborah Nucatola discussing how the organization “sells the body parts of aborted fetuses.” The nearly nine-minute video and an accompanying press release claimed that Planned Parenthood is in violation of 42 U.S.C. 289g-2, a federal law regulating the use and sale of fetal tissue. According to CMP's press release:
New undercover footage shows Planned Parenthood Federation of America's Senior Director of Medical Services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, describing how Planned Parenthood sells the body parts of aborted fetuses, and admitting she uses partial-birth abortions to supply intact body parts.
In the video, Nucatola is at a business lunch with actors posing as buyers from a human biologics company. As head of PPFA's Medical Services department, Nucatola has overseen medical practice at all Planned Parenthood locations since 2009. She also trains new Planned Parenthood abortion doctors and performs abortions herself at Planned Parenthood Los Angeles up to 24 weeks.
The sale or purchase of human fetal tissue is a federal felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000 (42 U.S.C. 289g-2). [The Center For Medical Progress, 7/14/15]
The Center For Medical Progress Bills Itself As A Non-Profit That Conducted A 30-Month Investigation Into Planned Parenthood, But It Has Almost No Internet Footprint
Center For Medical Progress Describes Itself As A Non-Profit “Group Of Citizen Journalists.” According to the organization's website description of itself:
The Center for Medical Progress is a group of citizen journalists dedicated to monitoring and reporting on medical ethics and advances. We are concerned about contemporary bioethical issues that impact human dignity, and we oppose any interventions, procedures, and experiments that exploit the unequal legal status of any class of human beings. We envision a world in which medical practice and biotechnology ally with and serve the goods of human nature and do not destroy, disfigure, or work against them.
The Center for Medical Progress is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. [Center for Medical Progress, Accessed 7/15/15]
Center For Medical Progress Has A Small And Recent Internet Footprint. CMP's presence online was nearly non-existent until several weeks ago. The group's Facebook page shows no posts before May 24 of this year and the organization didn't join Twitter until May 30. No videos other than the deceptively edited Planned Parenthood clips appear on the group's YouTube site. The website address listed on their Facebook page leads to a PostalAnnex+ in Irvine, CA instead of real organization. [Facebook.com, Accessed 7/15/15; Twitter.com, Accessed 7/15/15, YouTube.com, Accessed 7/15/15; Yelp.com, Accessed 7/15/15]
CMP's Founder, David Daleiden, Has A Long History With Discredited Conservative Groups
Center For Medical Progress: Daleiden Is “Founder” And Project Lead For The “Human Capital” Investigation. According to the Center for Medical Progress' website, Daleiden not only spearheaded the “Human Capital” investigation that produced the deceptively edited video attacking Planned Parenthood, he also founded the organization. Daleiden's bio also describes his past work at conservative news outlet The Weekly Standard:
David Daleiden is a citizen journalist with nearly a decade of experience in conducting investigative research on the abortion industry. In 2013, David started The Center for Medical Progressas a vehicle through which to pursue sophisticated, in-depth, and scintillating investigative journalism projects pertaining to contemporary bioethical issues.
As Project Lead at CMP, David recently completed the organization's first long-term project, the 30-month-long “Human Capital” investigation documenting Planned Parenthood's illegal sale of body parts from aborted fetuses. Prior to CMP, David worked as Director of Research for a national new media education and advocacy organization. David is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College with a B.A. in Government, and his writing has been published in The Weekly Standard and The Human Life Review. [Center for Medical Progress, Accessed 7/15/15]
Life Legal Defense Fund Credits Daleiden As Director Of CMP's Project. In a press release discussing CMP's video, the Life Legal Defense Fund credited David Daleiden as the director of the “Human Capital” project behind the deceptively edited video, thanking him specifically “for bringing these shocking practices to light”:
The “Human Capital” project was a nearly 3-year-long undertaking produced by The Center for Medical Progress (CMP). Directed by CMP Project Lead David Daleiden, the effort secured audio and video recordings of Planned Parenthood administrators and abortionists casually agreeing to sell freshly-extracted parts from their abortions. CMP's devastating expose of PP's trade in body parts may be seen at centerformedicalprogress.org.
Life Legal gives the credit for bringing these shocking practices to light to David Daleiden. But Daleiden gives a lot of credit to Life Legal: “The Center for Medical Progress thanks Life Legal Defense Foundation for their initiative and foresight in consulting on and helping to develop this project.” [Christian News Wire, 7/14/15]
Daleiden Was Formerly The Director of Research At Live Action. In 2009, Daleiden was the director of research for the discredited anti-abortion group Live Action, which has been criticized before for deceptively editing undercover footage of abortion clinics in an attempt to smear Planned Parenthood. According to Daleiden's bio from the time on Live Action's website, he assumed his role in 2008 and was later banned from Pomona College's campus after “videotaping a Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles speaker denying Planned Parenthood's responsibility for the cover-up of statutory rape”:
David Daleiden has a passion for promoting the culture of life in communities and campuses across the country. He is proud to be a part of the Live Action team.
A native of the Sacramento area, David first became involved with the pro-life movement at age 15, working with local college pro-life groups and learning from veteran activists in his community. He founded a pro-life club at his high school, helped bring pro-life debater Scott Klusendorf to his hometown, and has participated in the “Genocide Awareness Project” to show abortion images to the public. David points to such images as the original impetus for his work in the pro-life movement.
During high school, David was also heavily involved in speech and debate. He first met Lila Rose in the Junior State of America (JSA) organization, and over the years became more and more involved in Live Action.
In 2007, David began his studies at Claremont McKenna College (CMC) in Claremont, California. David currently runs a Live Action chapter in Claremont, which routinely conducts sidewalk counseling efforts, community education, and campus activism.
David took on his current role as Director of Research for Live Action in 2008 during the early stages of the Mona Lisa Project. In March 2009, David and a fellow student were banned from sister campus Pomona College after videotaping a Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles speaker denying Planned Parenthood's responsibility for the cover-up of statutory rape. The ban was soon lifted after intense public scrutiny. [Live Action, 8/17/09; Media Matters for America, 2/4/11; Media Matters for America, 5/31/12]
Snopes: Daleiden Is Reportedly Friends With Conservative Figure Best Known For “Severely Edited” Videos. A Snopes.com takedown of CMP's video noted that Daleiden is reportedly a friend of James O'Keefe -- another conservative figure notrious for using “severely edited” videos to target liberal organizations:
An individual named David Daleiden has been widely credited as the “leader” of the Center for Medical Progress. While Daleiden's online footprint is minimal, a 2009 Claremont University article (penned by fellow conservative activist Chuck Johnson) reported:
James O'Keefe is a friend of David Daleiden's. O'Keefe and Hannah Giles have been going coast to coast documenting instances of ACORN employees willingly giving advice on how to avoid paying taxes and shielding a would be pimp (running for congress) and a prostitutent from the watchful eye of the law. They've brought their investigation to New York City, Washington D.C., and Baltimore.
O'Keefe came to prominence in 2009 after he produced “egregiously misleading” and “severely edited” videos targeting agencies such as ACORN." [Snopes.com, 7/14/15]
Center for Medical Progress Board Member Called Murder Of Abortion Doctor “Justified”
Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue, Serves On Board of Directors. “Operation Rescue President Troy Newman serves on the Board of Daleiden's Center for Medical Progress. During this investigation, Newman advised Daleiden, providing consultation services and material support.” [Christian Newswire, 7/14/15]
Newman Called Murder Of Abortion Clinic Doctor A “Justifiable Defensive Action.” In a 2003 press release, Newman defended Paul Jennings Hill, who was executed by lethal injection for murdering abortion doctor John Britton in Pensacola, FL. Newman argued that Hill should have been able to defend himself by classifying the murder as justifiable.
Today's scheduled execution of Paul Hill is not justice, but is another example of the judicial tyranny that is gripping our nation. A Florida judge denied Rev. Hill his right to present a defense that claimed that the killing of the abortionist was necessary to save the lives of the pre-born babies that were scheduled to be killed by abortion that day. Our system of justice is based upon 'innocent until proven guilty,' but in Rev. Hill's case, there was no justice because the court prevented him from presenting the legal defense that his conduct was justifiable defensive action.
“There are many examples where taking the life in defense of innocent human beings is legally justified and permissible under the law. Paul Hill should have been given the opportunity to defend himself with the defense of his choosing in a court of law. [Operation Rescue West press release, 9/3/03]
Newman Stalked Clinic Workers. A 2004 Los Angeles Times story detailed Newman's anti-abortion activism:
“Newman will pick through clinic workers' trash to figure out where they do business; he'll trail them at a distance to learn their routines. His goal is not just to make their lives uncomfortable. He wants to unsettle and disgust their friends and associates, so their hairstylists and their pharmacists, even their neighbors, make it clear they're not welcome in Wichita.” [Los Angeles Times, 2/17/04]
Center For Medical Progress Connected To Disreputable Anti-Choice Organization
Vox: Center For Medical Progress “Appears To Be Associated” With Life Legal Defense Foundation. In a July 14 post detailing the controversy around the deceptively edited video released by CMP, Vox noted that the Life Legal Defense Foundation “appears to be associated with” the organization, linking to a series of materials on Life Legal's website from the Center For Medical Progress. [Vox, 7/14/15]
Life Legal Defense Foundation Has Been With The Center For Medical Progress “From The Very Start.” In a press release discussing CMP's video, the Life Legal Defense Fund said it had been working with CMP “from the very start”:
Life Legal Defense Foundation was finally able today to reveal its support of an undercover operation proving that Planned Parenthood routinely peddles the organs and tissues of babies aborted in its “health centers.” This systematic profiteering is known about and approved by officers at the abortion giant's highest levels of authority. Planned Parenthood's abortionists will even alter the abortion procedure in order to guarantee the tissues most sought after--regardless of what might be best for the aborting mother.
Life Legal gives the credit for bringing these shocking practices to light to David Daleiden. But Daleiden gives a lot of credit to Life Legal: “The Center for Medical Progress thanks Life Legal Defense Foundation for their initiative and foresight in consulting on and helping to develop this project.”
Familiar as we are with the contract killer's practices, Life Legal can't claim to be surprised by Planned Parenthood's utter disregard for medical ethics. But we are delighted that it has been so ably and thoroughly documented by David Daleiden.
Life Legal is proud to have taken an active, essential role in exposing Planned Parenthood's “Dr. Frankenstein” wrongdoing. Katie Short, Life Legal's Vice-President for Legal Affairs, remarked, “Planned Parenthood's unconscionable acts are recorded and proven. But it will take a lot of pressure to bring consequences to bear. After these revelations, the first thing every public official should be asked is why a penny of taxpayer money is going to fund any part of Planned Parenthood's work.”
Having been with the project from its inception, Life Legal is committed to following through. Planned Parenthood will not lightly escape the judgment it has merited by trafficking in babies' eyes, hearts, livers, muscles, and other organs and tissues. [Life Legal Defense Fund, 7/14/15]
Life Legal Defense Foundation Does Not Meet Standards Of Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance. According to the BBB's Wise Giving Alliance, which “helps donors make informed giving decisions and promotes high standards of conduct among organizations that solicit contributions from the public,” the Life Legal Defense Foundation does not meet their standards for charity accountability. Citing the organization's indirect compensation of board member's sibling as well as inaccurate “presentation of LLDF's fund raising and program service expenses. [Give.org, Accessed 7/15/15]
Right Wing Watch: Life Legal Defense Foundation Espoused Conspiracy Theory That National Defense Authorization Act Was “Really A Way .... To Round Up Anti-Abortion Activists And Imprison Them Indefinitely Without Trial.” In a January 2012 post, Right Wing Watch called out members of the “Religious Right” -- including the Life Legal Defense Foundation -- who forwarded the fringe conspiracy theory that the Obama Administration's National Defense Authorization Act for 2012 would allow the government to permanently imprison pro-life activists without a trial. Speaking to LifeSiteNews.com at the time, Dana Cody, the president and executive director of the Life Legal Defense Foundation, said her organization was studying the NDAA because it says “enemy territory could be anywhere,” and added, “If it's within the discretion of the government under the National Defense Authorization Act, of course it will be used by the government to intimidate and silence pro-life people, especially those who are in the public forum.” [Right Wing Watch, 1/4/12]