Just when you thought the First Amendment was safe, Planned Parenthood is at it again. America’s leading abortion factory, funded with our tax dollars, is pushing California lawmakers to pass a bill that would criminalize reporters and media outlets that publish undercover video and audio of abortion clinic practices by convicting them as felons. In other words, they want to put people in jail who reveal actual footage of Planned Parenthood’s own leaders’ own words – on camera.
The bill, aimed at silencing the press, Assembly Bill 1671, would ban reporters from reporting on their own recorded conversations and video footage as well as publishing reports on undercover investigations conducted by pro-life advocacy groups.
AB 1671 was authored by Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez, D-Los Angeles, who in 2015 was the recipient of Planned Parenthood’s Champion of Choice Award. If passed and signed into law by the state’s Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, reporters could be fined up to $10,000 and sentenced to three years in state prison.
The California Newspaper Publishers Association has come out against the bill, noting that it “criminalizes news distribution, imposing an unconstitutional restriction on speech.”
The bill comes in the wake of the Center for Medical Progress’ investigation into Planned Parenthood’s practices of illegally harvesting and selling aborted body parts to businesses that then sell babies’ tissue, organs and limbs to university research labs.
“For years, undercover journalists have documented Planned Parenthood employees covering up for sex traffickers, failing to report child sexual abusers, and trafficking in baby body parts,” said Lila Rose, president of the pro-life group Live Action, in a statement to the Christian Post. “Rather than be more transparent with the public, Planned Parenthood wants to make it a crime for the media to publish evidence that it might be doing something illegal.”
In a nutshell, Planned Parenthood is seeking to criminalize the act of revealing their own words, caught on video, rather than defending those words.
California’s law would also criminalize reporters who record phone conversations with abortion clinic staff to obtain information about their services. Such inquiries led to the discovery that Planned Parenthood facilities have never provided mammogram breast cancer screenings as a service to women, despite oft-repeated claims by the business until its president, Cecile Richards, admitted to that fact during congressional testimony last year, as reported by the Christian Post.
Speaking against the bill, Rose said, “A watchdog media is a cornerstone of a democratic society, and when the public funds half of the abortion giant’s operations, it has a right to know that its money isn’t being used to break the law or commit abuses. This outrageous bill is a direct attack on the freedom of the press and is blatantly unconstitutional. This bill puts Planned Parenthood’s interests ahead of the First Amendment, its clients, and the public, and it would keep evidence of illegal abusive activity hidden from nearly everyone’s views.”
The issue is pretty simple. America’s leading abortion provider wants to criminalize the act of revealing what they are doing. And they claim they have nothing to hide.
Their position reminds me of the man who stole money from a woman’s purse. He was caught on camera. When the woman produced video evidence of what he had been doing and asked him to stop stealing money from her purse, he sued her for recording him stealing money from her purse.
Planned Parenthood says they have nothing to hide. That becomes sort of hard to believe when they want to send reporters to prison for sharing with the world their own leaders making their own statements in their own words.
First Amendment, meet your adversary. Her name is Planned Parenthood.