Analysis

NAF is suing pro-lifers for something journalists have done for years

undercover

nafThe recent lawsuit filed by the National Abortion Federation (NAF) against a pro-life group exposing a gruesome baby parts harvesting operation is nothing more than a smokescreen of distraction.

NAF, with all their talk about high standards, is spending far more time attacking the Center for Medical Progress than investigating the allegations of illegal activity by Planned Parenthood. NAF has accused CMP of using fake names, infiltration, and hidden cameras to obtain damning information.

But these tactics have long been used and even supported by the media, by investigators, and even by the abortion industry itself.

Judge William H. Orrick (via cand.uscourts.gov)

Judge William H. Orrick (via cand.uscourts.gov)

As a result of the Center for Medical Progress’s (CMP) undercover investigation into fetal body parts trafficking, San Francisco Judge William Orrick granted NAF a temporary restraining order in late July, agreeing that NAF would likely suffer irreparable injury absent a temporary restraining order. The suit asks for CMP to be preliminarily and permanently enjoined from publishing or disclosing any recordings or confidential information from NAF’s meetings, publishing or disclosing the names or addresses of any NAF members that they learned at NAF meetings, and attempting to gain access to any future NAF meetings.

FAKE COMPANY

In their lawsuit, NAF claims that CMP created a “fake company” to expose the Planned Parenthood scheme, asserting that CMP “defrauded” NAF by doing this:

… Daleiden and his cohorts pretended to be officers and employees of their fake company, Biomax Procurement Services. They assumed false identities, used fake driver’s licenses and… signed agreements with NAF, agreements designed to protect NAF members from exactly the type of anti-abortion harassment that is the subject of this lawsuit.

Yet this is just the sort of thing that whistle blowers and investigators do all the time. 20/20 has multiple episodes on undercover investigations.  There are literally hundreds of examples of undercover journalism and investigations on the web, readily available for viewing.

HIDDEN CAMERAS

The NAF lawsuit also lists CMP’s use of video as a cause to further censor their message:

In order to gain access to NAF’s annual meetings, they then signed agreements with NAF promising not to record video or audiotape, to only use information learned at NAF’s national meetings to enhance the quality and safety of services provided by NAF members, and not to disclose any information learned at NAF’s annual meetings to any third parties. All of these promises were false and fraudulent when they were made.

Undercover video and hidden cameras are frequently used by the media. A CBS affiliate went undercover to investigate practices within several Los Angeles restaurants, and used a hidden camera to do it.

humane-society-pigsLest you think the tactic of video in undercover investigations is only reserved for law enforcement or journalists, it is not. In fact, several mission-driven non-profits have used under cover investigations to make their cases. Prominent on the Humane Society website (pictured) is an undercover video exposing the mistreatment of pigs.

The non-profit praises the effort, stating the video “earned both a 2013 Webby People’s Voice Award and a Webby Winner Award” and claimed “[a]s a result of the exposé, five Wyoming Premium workers recently pleaded guilty to criminal animal cruelty.”

Even the abortion rights group NARAL – which supports Planned Parenthood’s baby parts operation – used undercover tactics to sting what they referred to as “fake pregnancy centers.” Writing for RH Reality Check in March of this year, Nina Liss-Schultz, explained the process:

NARAL Pro-Choice California sent women undercover over the past year to more than a quarter of the state’s 167 crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), gathering information on the quality and kind of services offered by the anti-choice groups that run those facilities, in addition to the experience a person might have using a CPC as a resource during a pregnancy.

A report conducted by Vice News revealed that Katie Stack, a committed abortion advocate running The Crisis Project (whose sole purpose is to take down pro-life pregnancy centers) recorded conversations with pro-life counselors using hidden cameras. Stack even admitted to using “fake pee” for the pregnancy tests so the counselors would think she was pregnant. Interestingly, NAF thanked Katie Stack for her work:

naf-thanks-katie-stack

In October 2011, rather than having her videos condemned as “fake,” Stack was published in the New York Times op-ed section for her critique of crisis pregnancy centers. Because she was attacking the pro-life effort to help women, her undercover “investigation” was praised by the media.

FAKE NAMES

NAF also accused CMP investigators of using fake names- but a 20/20 reporter did it.  And CBS praised the efforts of one French female journalist who set up a fake Facebook account, fake name, and fake persona to find out why teens were flocking to ISIS.

Gloria-Steinem-2Feminist author Gloria Steinem (pictured right) went undercover in 1963 as a Playboy Bunny in Hugh Hefner’s New York Playboy mansion, using the fake name “Marie Catherine Ochs.” Then she wrote about her experiences in Show Magazine in an article entitled, “A Bunny’s Tale,” in which she recalled her experience, stating, “I’ve spent the afternoon making up a background for Marie.”

INFILTRATION

The NAF lawsuit against CMP complains that the cunning undercover investigators were able to “infiltrate” their “secret” meetings, writing:

Defendants Daleiden, Newman, CMP, and others… agreed to the manner in which the Enterprise would be conducted… in order to infiltrate by false and fraudulent pretenses NAF’s annual meetings, and to infiltrate the offices and clinics of its constituent members, all for the purposes of portraying NAF and its constituent members in a false light, destroying their professional repuations, and placing NAF members in personal jeopardy. At all relevant times, Daleiden, CMP, Biomax and Newman were generally aware of each other’s conduct in furtherance of the scheme, and were knowing and willing participants in that conduct.

Infiltration has been a frequent part of many investigations in America.

kennedy_klan_kostumeStetson Kennedy (pictured left) wrote an exposé detailing his infiltration of the Ku Klux Klan and was lauded as a “folklorist and social crusader” by the New York Times upon his death.

Just last year, an international media outlet reported on a retired black police officer who was able infiltrate a branch of the Klu Klux Klan in Colorado.  Investigator Ron Stallworth explained in his book, Black Klansman, how the hate group not only made him a member, but voted to make him the chapter’s leader after only one year.

Also this year, Business Insider reported on how filmmaker Alex Gibney infiltrated the Church of Scientology. But Gibney’s film was not condemned by the left, and even premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Interestingly, after the Church of Scientology attempted to discredit his investigation, Gibney responded, “They are playing a PR game with them to say, ‘Look at these evil people who are attacking us. Look how valiantly we are trying to defend our organization.'”

Sound familiar?

petr-infiltrates-kfcThe media remained relatively quiet when the left leaning PETA organization infiltrated a KFC supplier, using undercover video and posing as a worker for the chicken factory.

But back to NAF: A look at their requirements for membership reveals that the “infiltration” issue is more a culpability on their part than on CMP’s. The abortion lobby group “asks for references” for its members because “our members have been the targets of anti-abortion activity.” Did NAF seek these references for CMP’s undercover operatives or not? Regardless, NAF’s first and foremost concern must be their own multi-million dollar pockets. If the CMP videos are released as they should be, the only one who should be sued by anyone who attended their conference is the National Abortion Federation.

NAF touts the highest standards for abortion care – yet happens to have as members Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains and Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, both featured in CMP’s videos and now under investigation for possible illegal activity. Dr. Deborah Nucatola and Dr. Mary Gatter, also featured in CMP’s videos, are referenced in NAF guidelines on abortion (read here.)

NAF says they support fetal tissue donation as long as Federal laws and regulations are observed – and according to NAF, coercion must not play a part in fetal donation, clinics “cannot financially gain from their participation,” and “providers cannot change abortion procedures… to accommodate fetal tissue collection needs.”

Oops. The Planned Parenthood employees shown in the videos appear willing to break every one of these rules.

JewelsGreen2015bFormer abortion clinic worker turned ardent pro-life human rights advocate, Jewels Green wrote an interesting piece on this entire scam as well, pointing out that NAF’s attempts to silence CMP actually “plays right into CMP’s hands… because the basis for each of NAF’s assertions of fact and law is discoverable:

This will be an interesting trial because any evidence of a civil conspiracy on CMP’s part will also be evidence of a criminal conspiracy on NAF’s part.

Yes, it should be interesting to see how this plays out.

(Editor’s Note: This article was originally posted at Saynsumthn’s Blog and is reprinted here with permission.)

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