SCOTUS Refuses to Lift Gag Order in Baby Parts Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has decided not to review a decision by a lower court that blocked the pro-life Center for Medical Progress (CMP) from releasing additional videos that reveal illegal trafficking of fetal body parts by the abortion industry.

LifeSiteNews is reporting on the decision, handed down on Monday, which will leave in place the decision of U.S. District Judge William Orrick’s decision to impose a gag order on the CMP which prevents them from releasing more evidence of the abortion industry’s trafficking in body parts acquired from aborted babies. The Court’s rejection of the petition to review the injunction was handed down without comment.

“Justice is not only blind, but it remains gagged for the time being,” Thomas More President and Chief Counsel Tom Brejcha said in a statement emailed to LifeSiteNews.

“We are confident David Daleiden’s First Amendment rights will be upheld ultimately. We are disappointed with what appears to be the Supreme Court’s decision that these problems are better addressed at lower court levels at this time. When the smoke finally clears, we believe David Daleiden will be completely vindicated for exposing the truth about the abortion industry,” he added.

The Life Legal Defense Foundation, who filled the petition to the Supreme Court along with the Thomas More Society and the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund explains that the case began when the National Abortion Federation (NAF) sued Daleiden shortly after he released the first incriminating video in which abortion industry executives are seen bartering over aborted baby parts. Eventually, the NAF prevailed and federal judge William Orrick, who previously served on the board of an organization that partnered with a Planned Parenthood affiliate, granted the order.

“Orrick held that Daleiden contracted away his First Amendment rights when he signed the non-disclosure agreement NAF requires of all conference attendees, to avert public relations disasters like that which followed late-term abortionist Martin Haskell’s unveiling of the new technique of partial birth abortion at a NAF meeting in the 1990’s,” Life Legal writes.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ultimately upheld the order without fully reviewing the case, as is required when First Amendment freedoms are threatened. This led to the filing of the petition to the U.S. Supreme Court.

As LifeSite reports, the Foundation called the decision a striking detour from how the courts have handled similar cases. “No federal appeals court has ever upheld a gag order that was based on the alleged agreement of the parties to hide information that is of significant public interest and concern,” the group said.

“The Supreme Court seems to have decided that the problems with Judge Orrick’s gag order are better addressed at lower court levels at this time,” Catherine Short, Life Legal Defense Foundation’s Vice President of Legal Affairs, said in response to the latest decision.

She remains confident that her client will prevail, as does David Daleiden, co-founder of the CMP.

“Planned Parenthood and their allies are on notice that [the Center for Medical Progress] will continue to pursue every appealable avenue to vindicate our First Amendment rights and those of all citizen journalists,” he said in a statement to BuzzFeed.

“As the U.S. Department of Justice continues to investigate Planned Parenthood for the criminal sale of baby body parts, the undercover footage that Judge Orrick continues to suppress will only grow more and more relevant until it can finally be revealed to the public.”

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