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SF Court Waffles, This Time Upholds Felony Charges Against Pro Life Jounalists

Behind the scenes of the undercover videos of Planned Parenthood representatives selling fetal body parts for profit, David Daleiden, founder of Center for Medical Progress, and employee, Sandra Merritt are facing fifteen criminal charges, filed against them by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. The charges are for recording confidential conversations without consent.                 

In June, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Christopher Hite dismissed these charges, according to the SFGATE. The charges were “too vague and must specify each of the fourteen recordings that were allegedly made without consent.” Judge Hite, however, refused to dismiss the charge that Daleiden and Merritt conspired to violate privacy rights.

Becerra’s office then refiled more specific charges in July.  The new charges “lists videos generally but doesn’t list specific conversations on those videos, so it’s hard to know what conversations they’re referring to,” said Mat Staver, the chairman of Liberty Counsel, a religious legal defense nonprofit.

Daleiden and Merritt had a hearing on August 24,. Students for Life of America, Bay Area Pro-Life, and Prolife Future of San Francisco brought a group together to stand in solidarity with Daleiden and Merritt. “We’re hoping once the arguments are heard, Judge Hite will throw out the rest of the charges,” said Terrisa Bukovinac, the president of Prolife Future of San Francisco, who is also a registered Democrat, a feminist, and an atheist.

“We counted thirty-four people standing in support of David and Sandra and five schools were represented,” said Anna Arend, the Nothern California Regional Coordinator for Students for Life of America. The Bay Area Pro-Choice organized a ‘Handmaids’ Resistance’ but only three women showed up to counter protest.

According to the San Francisco Examiner, Judge Christopher Hite, previously had dismissed fourteen of the fifteen charges in July. However, the charges were refiled and this time Hite rejected motions to dismiss the charges against Daleiden and Merritt. According to the San Francisco Examiner:

“An absolute defense to that law is that you can record anything you want in a public place, and all of these recordings were made in extremely public places, the St Francis Hotel, hallways, meetings rooms of the hotel,” Ferreira said. “There’s no case here.”

The law also allows citizens to record private conversations if they are investigating violent felonies, Ferreira said.

Daleiden has maintained that the only reason Attorney General Becerra is continuing to prosecute this case is because the videos are endangering Planned Parenthood (who has made several large donations to Becerra’s political campaigns).

As reported by National Review, Becerra charged Daleiden and Merritt “on the grounds that ostensibly business-related conversations among strangers held in restaurants and at conferences were in fact “confidential,” and so recording them without every participant’s consent violated California eavesdropping laws.” However, this is contradictory to previous action taken on similar cases and shows a remarkable double standard by Becerra.

Daleidan and Merritt are being vicioiusly prosecuted for exposing truth, when Planned Parenthood should be held accountable and stripped of its federal funding. Influential leaders must speak up and confront Becerra regarding his obvious bias, and urge for a dismissal of the charges against Daleiden and Merritt



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