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Pro-life activists head to Supreme Court to fight order blocking release of Planned Parenthood videos

(Wikimedia Commons/Hourick)Planned Parenthood in Houston, Texas

The Center for Medical Progress (CMP) is heading to the U.S. Supreme Court to appeal a court order that prevents the group from releasing undercover videos that purportedly show Planned Parenthood executives negotiating the sales of aborted baby organs and tissue.

A three-member panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has recently ruled that CMP cannot release its undercover recordings to law enforcement for investigation of potential illegal activity by Planned Parenthood and National Abortion Federation (NAF) officials.

According to Operation Rescue, the ruling is related to a federal lawsuit filed by the NAF in 2015 to block the further release of possibly incriminating videos.

CMP founding members, including Operation Rescue President Troy Newman, have filed a joint motion on May 5, 2017, seeking a stay of the Ninth Circuit's order.

The motion contended that the appeals court wrongly upheld a "prior restraint" on CMP's First Amendment speech, which gained wide public attention.

Operation Rescue noted that the undercover videos were also the subject of inquiries conducted by House and Senate panels that referred Planned Parenthood for criminal investigation and prosecution.

"Prior restraints are 'the most serious and least tolerable infringement of First Amendment Rights,'" the motion stated.

Operation Rescue Senior Vice President Cheryl Sullenger asserted that the Ninth Circuit has wrongly prohibited pro-life journalists from "reporting crimes and submitting evidence to law enforcement."

She accused the court of protecting the ability of NAF and Planned Parenthood to "conceal possible criminal activity,"

"The rogue Ninth Circuit has showed their penchant for liberal, pro-abortion judicial activism once again, and we look forward to the U.S. Supreme Court once again overturning one of their grossly unconstitutional decisions," Sullenger said.

In March, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra charged CMP founder David Daleiden and his colleague Sandra Merritt for recording Planned Parenthood employees without their knowledge.

The two activists were charged with 14 felonies for each of the people filmed and a 15th charge for conspiring to invade privacy.

In late April, CMP released a new video showing a Planned Parenthood executive negotiating the price of baby body parts.

Mary Gatter, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America's Medical Directors' Council, was seen in the video haggling over per-specimen pricing for livers, lungs, and brains while insisting that the buyer must do all the work to harvest.

Gatter was also caught in a previous video saying "I want a Lamborghini" as she discussed and arranged the sale of body parts of aborted babies.

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