November 27, 2023

South Carolina Supreme Court Denies Appeal to Block Heartbeat Law

On November 14, the South Carolina Supreme Court unanimously denied an appeal by Planned Parenthood to enjoin the state's Fetal Heartbeat and Protection Act.

The South Carolina Supreme Court had already ruled 4-1 in August that the Fetal Heartbeat and Protection Act is constitutional, but Planned Parenthood and the Greenville Women's Clinic followed up with a second strategy. The abortion businesses asked the court to take "original jurisdiction" to define "fetal heartbeat" in South Carolina's law. They also asked that the court block the law's enforcement while the case is being litigated.

"Original jurisdiction" means that the South Carolina Supreme Court would agree to take the case without going through the lower courts first. The denial means that the abortion businesses will first need to file a case in the circuit court.

They argued that the fetal heart is not developed until the ninth week of gestation, therefore, the South Carolina Supreme Court should decide whether a less developed fetal heart is still a fetal heart. The heartbeat law protects unborn children from abortion when their fetal heartbeats become detectable (around six weeks gestation).

November 24, 2023

Michigan Gov Signs Law Repealing Pro-life Protections

Michigan Gov Gretchen Whitmer (D)
On Nov 21, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) signed legislation repealing a variety of pro-life protections, including the state's prohibition against partial-birth abortion.

The new law is titled the Reproductive Health Act (RHA), much like a pro-abortion law signed by Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker in 2019.

In addition to repealing Michigan's partial-birth abortion ban, Protect Life Michigan wrote on X that the RHA will repeal laws regarding, “abortion reporting, abortion complication reporting, clinic licensing, humane disposal of fetal remains, priority funding for family planning dollars away from abortion providers, and the prohibition of pregnant and parenting student services offices referring for abortion.”

The law further allows people to file civil lawsuits if they believe someone has infringed upon their "right to reproductive freedom."

Some pro-abortion proposals that were cut from the final version of the RHA would have required Michigan taxpayers to fund abortion through the state's Medicaid program, repealed a 24-hour waiting period law, and removed screening for coercion.

“Today, Michigan law was changed to oppress more children and harm more women,” Protect Life Michigan wrote. “Michigan women and children deserve BETTER than the discrimination the Reproductive Health Act has brought to the state.”

Michigan's RHA is set to take effect in February 2024.

Click here to read more.

November 22, 2023

Idaho Appeals to Supreme Court in Biden's Challenge to Pro-life Law

In response to a 9th Circuit ruling that Idaho's Defense of Life Act violates federal law, Idaho's Attorney General filed an emergency application for stay pending appeal.

The Biden Administration's lawsuit against Idaho claims that the Defense of Life Act contradicts the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA). Idaho's law protects unborn children from abortion with several exceptions, including when the abortion is deemed necessary to save the mother's life. EMTALA is a federal law that requires hospitals to provide stabilizing treatment for conditions jeopardizing an individual's health.

The 9th Circuit ruled in October that Idaho's Defense of Life Act prohibits medical treatment that is legally required by EMTALA. The Biden administration argued that EMTALA requires abortions in violation of the Defense of Life Act if an emergency room doctor thinks its appropriate, regardless of whether the abortion is necessary to save the mother's life.

Attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and Cooper & Kirk assisted the Idaho Attorney General's Office in filing the emergency motion.

“Hospitals—especially emergency rooms—are centers for preserving life. The government has no business transforming them into abortion clinics,” said ADF Senior Counsel Erin Hawley, vice president of the Center for Life and Regulatory Practice. “Emergency room physicians can, and do, treat ectopic pregnancies and other life-threatening conditions. But elective abortion is not life-saving care—it ends the life of the unborn child—and the government has no authority to override Idaho’s law barring these procedures. We urge the Supreme Court to halt the lower court’s injunction and allow Idaho emergency rooms to fulfill their primary function—saving lives.”

Attorneys defending the Defense of Life Act in the emergency motion argue, “EMTALA is silent on abortion and actually requires stabilizing treatment for the unborn children of pregnant women.”

ADF attorneys are litigating a similar case against the Biden administration in defense of Texas's Heartbeat Act.

November 21, 2023

Viral British Infant Dies after UK Orders Removal of Life Support

Indi Gregory, an 8-month-old British infant suffering from a mitochondrial disease, died last week after the UK government removed life support without parental consent. This happened despite the Italian government granting Gregeroy citizenship in a bid to have her transferred to receive care.

Gregory was receiving life-sustaining treatment on a ventilator at Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham, England when the UK's high court ruled that it was in the child's "best interests" to be removed from life support against her parents' wishes.

On Nov 6, the Italian government granted Gregory Italian citizenship and agreed to cover her medical treatment at the Vatican’s pediatric hospital, Bambino Gesù.

Despite repeated appeals, the UK courts refused to allow Gregory's parents to have her taken to Rome for treatment. On Nov 10, the UK courts ruled that Gregory's life support be removed "immediately."

The story of Gregory's care under the British healthcare system drew a lot of attention online, with many Italians branding the UK as "Death Island"

November 20, 2023

Ohio Legislators Announce Plans to Fight Abortion Amendment

On Nov 10, pro-life leaders and legislators in Ohio announced their plans to address Issue 1 and protect life.

The "yes" vote for Issue 1 on Ohio's Nov 8 ballot ratified an amendment to the state constitution that was designed to create a right to abortion.

“Foreign billionaires don't get to make Ohio laws,” said Jennifer Gross (R-West Chester), pointing to millions from billionaires outside America that helped fund Issue 1. Gross added, “This is foreign election interference, and it will not stand.”

“Issue 1 doesn't repeal a single Ohio law, in fact, it doesn't even mention one,” said Representative Bill Dean (R-Xenia). “The amendment’s language is dangerously vague and unconstrained, and can be weaponized to attack parental rights or defend rapists, pedophiles, and human traffickers.” 

A press release from Gross's office states, "Ohio legislators will consider removing jurisdiction from the judiciary over this ambiguous ballot initiative. The Ohio legislature alone will consider what, if any, modifications to make to existing laws based on public hearings and input from legal experts on both sides."

November 17, 2023

American Medical Association Rejects Proposal to Support Assisted Suicide

During a meeting of the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates, the AMA rejected two resolutions that would have changed the organization's stance regarding assisted suicide.

The AMA House of Delegates met from Nov 10-14 to discuss a variety of proposals, two of which would have ended the organization's official stance opposing physician-assisted suicide. One proposal would have adopted a "neutral" stance, while the other would have adopted a stance supporting the practice. Delegates ultimately voted down both proposals.

"Physician-assisted suicide is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer, would be difficult or impossible to control, and would pose serious societal risks.

Instead of engaging in assisted suicide, physicians must aggressively respond to the needs of patients at the end of life.

  • Should not abandon a patient once it is determined that cure is impossible.
  • Must respect patient autonomy.
  • Must provide good communication and emotional support.
  • Must provide appropriate comfort care and adequate pain control."

Notably, the AMA also voted down a resolution that would have changed the terminology from "assisted suicide" to the sterilized language "Medical Aid in Dying (MAiD)."

"The take home message is that medical professionals, young physicians and medical students must be involved in the AMA," said Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.

Click here to read more.

November 16, 2023

27 US Senators Demand DOD End Abortion Travel Funding

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin
On Nov 13, 27 US Senators signed a letter demanding that Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin end the Department of Defense's policy to pay the travel expenses for military members and their dependents who travel away from pro-life states to get abortions.

The Department of Defense announced the taxpayer funding of abortion travel expenses not long after the Dobbs v. Jackson decision allowed states to regulate abortion through their elected representatives. Austin argued in support of the policy that pro-life state laws created “readiness, recruiting, and retention implications for the force.”

This came after President Biden directed the entirety of the executive branch to find ways to promote abortion.

The senators' letter reads,

"All legislative power is vested in Congress, and the Executive branch is responsible for implementing and enforcing the law. While the Department may issue regulations, it can only do so under the laws authorized and enacted by Congress. But, Congress never authorized the Department to expend funds to facilitate abortions and, until the Policy was issued, the military never facilitated abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or where the life of the mother would be endangered if the unborn child were carried to term..."

The letter further notes that only 12 women have used the policy since its inception at the beginning of this year, undercutting his argument that pro-life laws posed a threat to recruiting and retention.

Of the 27 Senators who signed the letter, all were Republicans.

November 15, 2023

Woman Charged with Threatening to Kill Federal Judge Who Ruled Against FDA Abortion Pill Approval

On November 8, a Florida woman named Alice Marie Pence was arrested on charges that she threatened to kill U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, a federal judge in Texas who issued an injunction suspending the FDA's approval of the abortion drug mifepristone.

Since Kacsmaryk's ruling in Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration the injunction was suspended pending Supreme Court review. Pro-life physicians and advocates argued that the FDA did not follow the proper procedures when approving mifepristone in 2000. The FDA failed to respond to the official complaint process and stonewalled physicians for over 20 years; finally culminating in this lawsuit.

Pence's alleged death threat against Kacsmaryk was made shortly after hearings in the case were scheduled, but before any rulings were issued. She is charged with threatening interstate communication and influencing a federal officer by threat. She is scheduled to make an initial appearance before a judge on November 22, 2023.

Though Judge Kacsmaryk is not named in the DOJ's indictment, he is the only federal judge in Amarillo, Texas, where Pence made the threatening phone call.

November 14, 2023

Right to Life of Michigan Files Lawsuit Challenging Michigan Right to Abortion

On November 8, the first anniversary of a Michigan constitutional amendment creating a right to abortion in the state, Right to Life of Michigan (RLM) announced that a coalition of pro-life advocates filed a lawsuit challenging the amendment.

“Earlier this morning, a federal civil rights lawsuit was filed challenging the constitutionality of central elements of Proposal 3,” said Barbara Listing, President of RLM. “The provisions asserted to be unconstitutional under federal law threaten legal protections for pregnant women seeking healthcare, the rights of physicians to care for patients, and the rights of parents already under attack on many fronts. At issue is also the sweeping disenfranchisement both of Michigan voters and of the authority of the legislature in the days and years ahead.

American Freedom Law Center and co-counsel Great Lakes Justice Center filed the complaint on behalf of the coalition, which includes pro-life physicians, legislators, parents, and a pregnancy resource center.

The lawsuit asserts that Michigan's pro-abortion constitutional amendment violates the US Constitution on several grounds:

1. It violates the Fourteenth Amendment by exempting pregnant women from protections afforded to other classes.

2. It violates the Fourteenth Amendment by depriving parents of the right to be involved in their minor children's decisions regarding reproduction.

3. It violates the First Amendment by overriding religious objections to endorsing, providing, or supporting procedures involving "reproduction.

4. It violates the Fourteenth Amendment by depriving preborn babies, babies born during failed abortions, and partially born babies of the right to life without due process.

5. It violates the US Constitution's Guarantee Clause by creating a super-right to "reproductive freedom" immune from legislative action. The coalition argues that this interferes with citizens' right to a republican form of government.

November 13, 2023

Mark Houck Sues Biden DOJ over Political Arrest

Mark Houck with his wife and seven children
photo via Thomas More Society
On November 6, pro-life activist Mark Houck and his wife sued the Biden Department of Justice over Houck's shocking arrest during an FBI early-morning raid on his home last year.

After Roe v. Wade was overturned in 2022, the Biden administration responded by emphasizing enforcement of pro-abortion policies. This included the enforcement of the Freedom of Access to Abortion Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, with which Houck was charged.

In September of 2022, over a dozen FBI agents with guns drawn arrested Houck on FACE Act charges.

Houck is seeking $1.1 million for malicious prosecution, retaliatory prosecution, false arrest, abuse of process, and assault.

His wife, Ryan-Marie Houck, is seeking $3.25 million in damages for emotional distress to herself and the family's seven children. The complaint states that stress following Mark's arrest caused her to suffer multiple miscarriages and infertility.

The Biden DOJ charged Houck with violating the FACE Act for an altercation he had with an abortion clinic escort in 2021. While Houck was offering support as a sidewalk counselor, the escort repeatedly harassed Houck's 12-year-old son. When the escort refused to leave the child alone, Houck responded by pushing the escort away. The civil case filed against Houck immediately after the incident was thrown out of court after the escort failed to show up for court dates.

If found guilty of the FACE Act charges, Houck would have faced 11 years in prison and a fine of $350,000. A jury found him not guilty in January, and he has been able to return to his family.

“This lawsuit will send a strong message to the DOJ that the United States of America does not belong to [Attorney General] Merrick Garland or the FBI; it belongs to all Americans, despite our many disagreements on different issues,” said Shawn Carney, president of the pro-life organization 40 Days for Life, which is representing Houck. “We all believe that we should have the right to free speech and be protected from unlawful infringement by our own government.”

Earlier this year, Houck also announced that he is running for Congress in Pennsylvania's 1st Congressional District.

November 10, 2023

Tennessee AG Sues Biden Admin for Diverting Title X Funds to Planned Parenthood

Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti (R)
Last month, Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti filed a lawsuit against the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for diverting Tennessee Title X funds to Planned Parenthood.

The Biden administration, through the HHS, announced earlier this year that it would no longer provide federal funding to Tennessee's health departments through Title X. This is because the Biden administration now requires Title X fund recipients to refer women for abortion, something that Tennessee does not require.

Under Tennessee's Human Life Protection Act, unborn children are largely protected from abortion, so Biden is asking pregnancy resource centers to refer women for a service that is illegal in the state.

According to the Associated Press, Tennessee collected about $7.1 million annually in recent years to help fund family planning organizations in the state. Now, most of those dollars are being sent directly to Planned Parenthood.

By diverting Title X taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood, the Biden administration is helping to fund the abortion business's legal fight against the Human Life Protection Act.

“We are suing to stop the federal government from playing politics with the health of Tennessee women,” Skrmetti said in a statement. “Our lawsuit is necessary to ensure that Tennessee can continue its 50-year track record of successfully providing these public health services to its neediest populations.”

November 9, 2023

Ohio Voters Approve Right to Abortion in State Constitution

On November 7, Ohioans voted 57%-43% to create a right to abortion in the state constitution.

The amendment creates a right to abortion at any point in pregnancy up until the moment of birth as long as the abortionist deems it necessary for the mother's "health." "Health" is not defined by the amendment's language, allowing abortionists and courts to interpret it broadly.

Courts interpret similar language in other laws to include mental health.

The amendment prevents Ohio from enforcing any law that would interfere with an individual's right to "carry out one's own reproductive decisions." This language will likely also prevent Ohio from enforcing waiting periods or parental notification laws. It could prevent the state from enforcing laws that would prevent taxpayer dollars from funding abortions.

NBC News reported that spending in favor of the amendment since August 9 was $18.3 million compared to $7 million from pro-life groups. Much of this spending came from large out-of-state organizations like Planned Parenthood. These ads pounded voters with misinformation such as the idea that pro-life laws kill mothers and imprison them for experiencing miscarriage.

“Sadly, the ones who will suffer for tonight’s vote will be women and their unborn babies,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “As pro-abortion groups move in on Ohio and push to overturn protective laws, the people of Ohio will likely be shocked at the impact their decision will have.”

In other key votes, pro-life candidates lost Virginia's General Assembly and Kentucky's Governor race. 

On the other hand, Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch (who argued the Dobbs v. Jackson case before the Supreme Court) defeated her opponent by a margin of approximately 2 to 1.

November 8, 2023

Biden Admin Pays Guttmacher Institute $594K to Study "Impact" of Pro-life Laws

On September 5, the Biden administration's National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded $594,163 to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute to conduct a study on the “impact of new state restrictions on abortion incidence and safety.”

The Guttmacher Institute was founded in 1968 as the research arm of Planned Parenthood. It has changed its name over the years, but it still maintains its pro-abortion roots. The organization's current name comes from former Planned Parenthood President Dr. Alan F. Guttmacher.

The NIH project description states that it will last until August 2024, after which the Guttmacher Institute will deliver “baseline data to capture the impact of state abortion restrictions expected over the coming months on the health of pregnant people as well as the need for high-quality estimates of abortion incidence both within and outside of the formal health care system.” 

Biden's administration also says the study will collect "data on facility-based and self-managed abortions to estimate the national incidence of abortion and abortion-related health outcomes."

Given the bent perspectives of both the Biden administration and the Guttmacher Institute, any conclusions to come from this study will surely support their pro-abortion beliefs. This study will use taxpayer dollars to further the goals of pro-abortion activists.

November 7, 2023

Pro-Abortion Attorneys General Publish Open Letter Attacking PRCs

California Attorney General Rob Bonta (D)
Led by California Attorney General Rob Bonta, a group of 16 pro-abortion state attorneys general published an open letter claiming that pro-life pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) are deceptive and harmful to women.

Bonta was joined by the attorneys general from Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

Bonta wrote in the eight-page letter that PRCs harm women by “[delaying] pregnant people from accessing critical reproductive healthcare—by dissuading pregnant people from seeking abortion care and by frequently holding themselves out as full spectrum healthcare providers when most of them are anything but.”

The attorneys general went on to express frustration that pregnancy resource centers don't refer women to abortion clinics and offer abortion pill reversal treatment. Bonta's office has gone as far as to file a lawsuit against Heartbeat International for offering abortion pill reversal services.

They also supported Yelp in its ongoing legal battle against Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron. The online review platform put disclaimers on listings for PRCs suggesting that they did not staff licensed medical professionals, regardless of whether the PRC had a medical professional on staff.

Kelsey Pritchard, director of State Public Affairs for Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, told Fox News, "Pregnancy centers exist to help women in need by providing free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, medical exams, counseling, parenting classes, financial classes; items such as food, diapers, and clothing; and financial assistance for housing and utilities."

"The twisted attempts to hinder pregnancy resource centers’ ability to serve women prove that Democrats are not pro-choice, they are pro-abortion,” Pritchard continued. “Today’s Democrats view success as more abortions and with the help of Yelp and Big Tech, they are concealing the options that exist for women.”

November 6, 2023

National Right to Life Analyses Pro-Abortion "We Count" Report

National Right to Life Director of Education & Research Randall K. O'Bannon released an analysis of the pro-abortion "We Count" report released by the Society for Family Planning (SFP) last month.

The report, which was featured in the New York Times, suggested that pro-life state laws were not decreasing the number of abortions. The data presented in the "We Count" study suggested that any decreases in abortion in states with pro-life laws were offset by increases in pro-abortion states. With this data, SFP argued that pro-life laws don't work. Women would just travel out of state to have abortions.

O'Bannon's analysis pointed out several issues with the study.

1. States without laws protecting the unborn often make an effort to promote abortion. They spend time and money advertising to women in pro-abortion states hoping that they will become "abortion tourists."

2. Early data suggests that births increase when states enforce laws protecting unborn children.

3. Pro-abortion advocacy groups created abortion travel funds in response to the Dobbs. v. Jackson decision. These funds allow pro-abortion organizations to act as travel agents for women traveling out of state for abortions. These organizations schedule abortions with abortion businesses in other states and pay the travel costs.

The money in these funds was largely fundraised from pro-abortion advocates immediately after the Dobbs v. Jackson decision, and it might not be a sustainable model in the long term.

4. SFP is a pro-abortion organization, not a neutral observer. It has an incentive to present the abortion industry in a favorable light to investors. More abortions mean more "sales." When SFP estimated the number of abortions from clinics that did not report (something it openly admitted to doing), it may have inflated those numbers to its own benefit.

November 3, 2023

36 Nations Recommit to Pro-Life Geneva Consensus Declaration

A coalition of 36 nations gathered in Washington DC last week to commit to the pro-life Geneva Consensus Declaration.

This year marks the third anniversary of the Geneva Consensus Declaration, in which member nations voiced their commitment to their sovereign right to make pro-life policies aligning with their cultural values without foreign interference. The Declaration states that there is no internationally recognized right to abortion.

The United States was a member of this pro-life coalition when the declaration was first created in 2020, but the Biden administration withdrew soon after it took office in 2021.

“The Geneva Consensus Declaration recognized the critical role of the family as the building block of society, honored the basic human rights of all women and reaffirmed the inherent right to life for all people,” Republican U.S. Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma said at the gathering.

“President Biden remains the most pro-abortion president in our nation’s history,” Lankford continued. “He removed the United States from the Declaration, which was supported by more than a billion people worldwide and is instead actively promoting abortion here and abroad. Now, more than ever, we should stand in unity and make it known that all lives are precious — whether born or unborn — and should be honored and protected. I am committed to defending the family, standing for life and fighting for the health needs of women around the world.”

Governments that sign the Geneva Consensus Declaration commit to “enable women to go safely through pregnancy and childbirth and provide couples with the best chance of having a healthy infant” and emphasize that “in no case should abortion be promoted as a method of family planning.”

November 2, 2023

Kansas Judge Blocks Waiting Period, APR Notification Laws

On October 30, District Judge Kishnan Christopher Jayaram issued a temporary restraining order preventing Kansas from enforcing two pro-life laws, one of which has been in effect since 1997.

The new law blocked by this order would have required abortion businesses to inform women about the availability of abortion pill reversal before they take mifepristone, the first drug in the abortion pill regimen.

Mifepristone causes abortions by disrupting the pregnancy hormone, progesterone. Progesterone facilitates the flow of oxygen and nutrients from the mother's body to her unborn child. By disrupting progesterone, mifepristone causes unborn children to die by asphyxiation and starvation.

Mothers who regret taking the mifepristone can attempt to save their children by getting a progesterone prescription from a pro-life physician. This practice is known as abortion pill reversal. Progesterone is also prescribed to help mothers facing difficult pregnancies.

In addition to blocking the requirement that abortion businesses notify women about the existence of abortion pill reversal, Jayaram's order blocks the enforcement of Kansas's 1997 "Woman's Right to Know" Act. Among other things, this law instituted a 24-hour waiting between initial consultation and a clinic committing an abortion.

According to Kansas Right to Life, the court order also blocks legal requirements that abortion businesses provide access to ultrasounds, notify the mother of her child's gestational age, and notify the mother that she has the right to change her mind before the abortion is committed.

November 1, 2023

Three More Hospitalizations at "Hope" Abortion Clinic in Granite City

A report by Operation Rescue confirms three more hospitalizations caused by Hope Clinic for Women in Granite City, Illinois within the last three months.

Operation Rescue, a pro-life organization dedicated to reporting medical emergencies caused by abortion clinics, obtained redacted 911 call recordings from August 4, September 7, and September 29.

The August 4 emergency call was very short. A clinic employee told the dispatcher that a patient "needs to go to a higher level of care for evaluation." The dispatcher responded that she would send an ambulance, and the call ended. No information was provided about what kind of injury the patient suffered, whether she was conscious, or whether she was breathing.

On September 7, a Hope Clinic employee called to request an ambulance for a 35-year-old patient with excessive bleeding. Hemorrhaging, usually caused by uterine perforation,  is a common injury incurred by women during surgical abortions.

On September 29, Hope Clinic called 911 to request an ambulance for a 38-year-old patient for "sedation purposes." The clinic employee requested that the patient be transferred to Barnes-Jewish Hospital, a level 1 trauma center in St. Louis, Missouri. Like the August 4 incident, it is unclear what kind of medical emergency the patient suffered.

Operation Rescue only obtains records for medical emergencies reported by pro-life witnesses on the sidewalk. While Hope Clinic For Women has averaged over one hospitalization per month based on eyewitness reports, it may cause unreported emergencies on days when pro-life advocates are not present.

October 31, 2023

Thomas More Society Files Motion to Dismiss Political Charges Against Undercover Journalist David Daleiden

David Daleiden
On October 26, Thomas More Society attorneys representing pro-life undercover journalist David Daleiden filed a motion to dismiss political charges brought against him by pro-abortion California prosecutors and Planned Parenthood. The motion alleges that California's law prohibiting the recording of "confidential" conversations violates the First Amendment.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in July 2023 (Project Veritas v. Schmidt) that Oregon's law prohibiting so-called "confidential" conversations in public spaces violated the First Amendment. Thomas More Society attorneys argue that California's recording law is similar, and therefore also violates the First Amendment.

Daleiden currently faces nine felony counts for alleged violations of California recording and other related laws. In 2015, he posed as a worker for a medical research company seeking to purchase body parts harvested from aborted children. He recorded conversations with Planned Parenthood officials, during which they disclosed information about their harvesting techniques. These techniques illegally modified abortion procedures in an effort to obtain more intact body parts. Further, the recorded footage suggests that Planned Parenthood harvested organs from children born alive during attempted abortions.

“The Ninth Circuit has recognized the First Amendment value in undercover recording, especially in public settings and on topics of public interest,” shared Peter Breen, the Thomas More Society's executive vice president and head of litigation. “David Daleiden did exactly that, recording high level Planned Parenthood personnel in open settings, discussing and admitting conduct that violates numerous state and federal laws. It’s long past time for this political prosecution to be dismissed.”

“There is absolutely no compelling government interest in prohibiting recordings of speech in public settings, including those at issue in this case,” Breen continued. “David Daleiden’s 30-month investigation generated videos and evidence that spurred Congressional hearings, criminal referrals, policy and law changes, along with nationwide efforts to defund Planned Parenthood.”