StemExpress Wins Restraining Order on Video of Company Execs

A detail from a StemExpress 'partnership' appeal

A Los Angeles Superior Court temporary restraining order issued on July 28 prohibits the Center for Medical Progress from releasing video of three high-ranking officials of StemExpress—a California company that provides fetal tissue to researchers—taken at a restaurant in May. A hearing on the matter is scheduled for August 19. 

At its website, the company explained in a statement that it “sought a TRO on the grounds that CMP and [its founder and chief investigator David] Daleiden violated California’s anti-wiretapping law under Penal Code § 632 (Invasion of Privacy Act).” It added, “We will continue to pursue all available legal remedies against CMP and Daleiden.”

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In his response Daleiden dismissed the StemExpress complaint as “meritless.”

C.M.P. has been releasing revealing and, to many, disturbing video of directors of Planned Parenthood Federation of America affiliates graphically and casually discussing the disposition of body parts of fetal remains in recent weeks, provoking a new uproar over abortion rights and Planned Parenthood practices (See America's coverage). The videos not only challenge public perceptions about abortion procedures, they have been raising the question of whether or not PPFA affiliates are illegally trading in and profiting from fetal tissue and organs. StemExpress has been cited by PPFA executives as a regular purveyor of fetal tissue for researchers. The company has reached out to PPFA affiliates to establish “financially profitable” relationships aimed at acquiring fetal remains.

Responding to the court order, CMP, in a statement at its website noted: “StemExpress, a for-profit company partnered with over 30 abortion clinics, including Planned Parenthood, to harvest and sell aborted baby parts and provide a ‘financial benefit’ to Planned Parenthood clinics, is attempting to use meritless litigation to cover-up this illegal baby parts trade, suppress free speech, and silence the citizen press reporting on issues of burning concern to the American public. They are not succeeding—their initial petition was rejected by the court, and their second petition was eviscerated to a narrow and contingent order about an alleged recording pending CMP’s opportunity to respond.”

According to the statement, C.M.P. “follows all applicable laws in the course of our investigative journalism work and will contest all attempts from Planned Parenthood and their allies to silence our First Amendment rights and suppress investigative journalism.”

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