Skip to comments.Grandma tells court why she went undercover to expose Planned Parenthood selling baby body parts
Posted on 11/10/2019 12:47:27 AM PST by Morgana
SAN FRANCISCO, California, In her first-ever public testimony, Sandra Merritt told a San Francisco jury Friday why she took part in an undercover operation that exposed Planned Parenthoods trafficking in aborted baby body parts.
Testifying in the Planned Parenthood Federation civil suit against the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), the 66-year-old grandmother said she believed Planned Parenthood was committing such crimes as partial-birth abortion, battery against women by changing abortion procedures in order to procure more intact organs, and harvesting organs from babies born alive during abortions.
I thought it was horrific. I thought it needed to come to the light and for people to know the truth in order to make an informed choice, she told the court.
An investigator with CMP, Merritt is one of five defendants Planned Parenthood Federation of America and 10 affiliates are suing for damages they claim resulted from the undercover videos CMP released in 2015.
The Planned Parenthood suit accuses Merritt, CMP project lead David Daleiden, Albin Rhomberg, Troy Newman, and Gerardo Adrian Lopez as well as CMP and its alter-ego BioMax of committing 15 different crimes including wiretapping, conspiracy, trespassing, breach of contract, and violating the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) statute.
Rhomberg and Newman, president of Operation Rescue, were CMP founding board members along with Daleiden, and Lopez was an undercover investigator in the 30-month long covert operation.
In an ongoing criminal prosecution, Merritt and Daleiden are also charged with 14 felony counts of illegal taping of confidential information in violation of Californias anti-eavesdropping law.
The civil defense team is arguing that their clients violated no laws while carrying out the undercover investigation. Additionally, they argue that the recording done in the state of California fell under a provision of California law that allows for recording without consent specifically for the purpose of uncovering evidence of violent crimes against a person.
They argue their clients had reason to believe that Planned Parenthood and organ harvesting companies such as Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR) and StemExpress were committing such crimes. Baby body parts harvesting not relevant: judge
However, the defense is severely impeded by U.S. District Court Judge William Orricks pre-trial order that abortion and fetal tissue procurement are not relevant to the trial. He is excluding testimony concerning whom Daleiden consulted as he began the undercover project, as well as evidence uncovered in government investigations spurred by the release of the CMP videos.
The groundbreaking videos, which show high-level Planned Parenthood executives haggling over the price of body parts and admitting they change the abortion procedure to harvest intact organs, outraged the public and sparked both U.S. House and Senate investigations, leading the two government bodies to refer criminal charges to the FBI and Department of Justice. An update on those investigations is expected soon.
Orrick, who has known ties to Planned Parenthood, told the jury in his opening statements that the case is not about the truth of whether plaintiffs profited from the sale of fetal tissue or otherwise violated the law in securing tissue for those programs.
Those issues are a matter of dispute between the parties in the world outside this courtroom, he said. Pretext necessary to gather evidence of violent crimes
Merritt was able to testify that she and CMP investigators believed Planned Parenthood and organ harvesting companies were committing violent felonies.
On cross examination by her lawyer Horatio Mihet, Merritt said she had known of Planned Parenthood and its eugenicist founder Margaret Sanger for decades, and had taken a small part in a Live Action project that revealed Planned Parenthood did not offer mammograms as it claimed.
Daleiden, who also previously worked for Live Action, approached Merritt in 2013 with information about the organ harvesting industry, including a 2000 20/20 undercover exposé showing illegal fetal organ harvesting and profit in the abortion industry, Merritt told the court.
He also showed her the 2012 Stanford study that used fetal human hearts supplied by StemExpress in a Langendorff perfusion technique. Dr. Theresa Deisher, among others, told Daleiden the hearts had to be harvested from living babies, which Merritt described as horrific.
Having two daughters and caring about how young women were being treated, used, abused, lied to, and criminal activity was seemed apparent by the information that he was giving to me, there was nothing else that I could do but take part in the operation, the jury heard.
Planned Parenthood lawyer Sharon Mayo repeatedly asked Merritt if using false ID to pass herself off as Susan Tennenbaum, CEO of BioMax, was lying, misrepresentation, and making false statements.
Merritt consistently responded the pretext was needed to investigate what they suspected was criminal activity.
Mayo asked Merritt if she told attendees at the National Abortion Federation she was recording them, to which Merritt replied, We did not tell people that we suspected of doing criminal activities that we were recording them, that is correct.
That prompted a rebuke from Orrick, who told the clerk to strike the descriptive characterization from the record, and Merritt to just go straight to the question. Were not going into the truth of abortion procedures
Orricks pretrial ruling restricting evidence led to some highly-charged moments.
When Mihet asked Merritt what she knew about Holly ODonnell, a former fetal tissue procurement technician with StemExpress who is now deceased, Orrick ordered the jury to leave.
Witnesses can testify as to what their reasonable state of mind was with respect to the specific defense and about their explanation that they are journalists, he then told counsel.
But were not going into the truth of abortion procedures. Ive excluded that. Were not going into the many disputes that the parties have outside of this.
As is seen on CMP videos and revealed in testimony in the criminal case, ODonnell told Daleiden that while waiting to procure baby organs at a Planned Parenthood Mar Monte abortion center, her supervisor touched the heart of an aborted baby with an instrument and the heart began beating.
She also told Daleiden she had to harvest the brain of a baby aborted at 25 weeks gestation by cutting through the babys face. Ruling sanitizes case and denies pro-lifers fair trial: lawyer
Orricks pretrial ruling specified Daleiden could testify that he had conversations with ODonnell that supported his reasonable belief arguments, but disallowed testimony about ODonnells opinions because the plaintiffs had no opportunity to cross-examine her and her purported beliefs are hotly disputed and highly prejudicial.
Charles LiMandri, lawyer for Daleiden, argued to no avail that Orricks excluding this type of evidence would be sanitizing the case to the point where the defendants would be, with due respect to the Court, completely deprived of a fair trial.
ODonnells revelations, as well as Dr. Deishers testimony that hearts used on a Langendorff apparatus had to be harvested from living babies, were allowed in the criminal trial, Limandri said.
[The] fact that there are fetal hearts had to be beating, thats a large part of [Daleidens] reasonable belief that babies are born alive. So I never understood your precluding us from getting into that, said LiMandri, lead counsel for the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund.
The jury has to know the source and they have to know the basis of Daleiden and his teams beliefs, he argued. Judge nixes video of abortionist as prejudicial
There were also contentious discussions before the jurors entered the courtroom over the defenses request to play raw video footage Daleiden and Merritt secretly recorded at a lunch with Dr. Deborah Nucatola, then PPFA medical director.
The first video CMP released shows Nucatola describing how she would crush below and crush above the babys thorax in an abortion to leave organs intact and admitting she would the change babys position to breech, a description of partial-birth abortion, in order to harvest the babys head intact.
Jenna Tosh, CEO of Planned Parenthood California Central Coast, testified Thursday and Friday morning that when the video was released, she felt frightened for the safety of Planned Parenthood staff.
Before she took the stand, the defense argued that Tosh should be prohibited from talking about her alleged fears and concerns about the publics reactions to the video. Orrick denied the motion.
After Tosh testified, Paul Jonna, who is representing Lopez, argued that the video should be shown to the jury to demonstrate it contains no call for violence or criminal behavior. He said to exclude it was unfair to the defense. Orrick was unmoved.
This clip is going into evidence that I have excluded in pretrial and it is its prejudicial, its time wasting, and Im not going to allow it, Orrick said.
Mihet then argued the video clip would show the jury that Nucatola made no effort to change the subject or lower her voice, as wait staff came and went, and that there were people in the restaurant nearby who could overhear the conversation, and that for context, you have to show the conversations.
Orrick said he would rule Tuesday whether the defendants could show the video. Judge allows testimony of alleged violence of pro-lifers
In its initial complaint, Planned Parenthood made sweeping claims about the high quality of its services. After the discovery phase of the case, when the defendants asked for all the medical malpractice suits against Planned Parenthood, every discipline action against one of its doctors, and all deficiency reports, Planned Parenthood agreed not to talk about the quality of its services.
However, Planned Parenthood appears to be getting around this by having the witnesses talk about it, sandwiched in with their other testimony.
Plaintiff lawyer Amy Bomse spent a great deal of time Thursday asking Tosh about all the beneficial things Planned Parenthood does.
Planned Parenthood continues to make claims of a history of violence in the pro-life movement. Their allegations of a spike in harassment, threats, and violence after the release of the CMP videos were shown to be baseless during the discovery phase.
But Orrick allowed questioning on the alleged violence of the pro-life movement as part of Toshs state of mind, even though it had no basis in fact.
On cross-examination by Catherine Short, lawyer for Rhomberg, Tosh admitted that Planned Parenthoods count of security incidents, includes tweets, letters, and phone calls critical of Planned Parenthood, as well as incidents unconnected with opposition to abortion.
Tosh also admitted that the media often attribute violence against Planned Parenthood to pro-lifers, even contrary to the evidence. For example, an arson attributed to pro-lifers was later proven to be perpetrated by an estranged boyfriend of a Planned Parenthood employee.
Another difficulty for the defense is that Planned Parenthood includes or discards claims as it benefits them. The plaintiffs originally claimed the defendants were liable for Planned Parenthoods loses after it took down its website after learning of a possible hack. When pressed for evidence, they dropped the claim, resurrected it when the discovery phase was over, then dropped it again.
The trial, which will run until at least November 8, resumed Tuesday with defendants Lopez and Rhomberg scheduled to testify.
It’s obscene that such an act of decency requires an explanation.
The morality that we hold in our gut is a blessing.
Our country....our world has been utterly saturated with horrific visuals and events shown by media, movies, TV..... especially through the past 20, 30+ years...
....we have become inured to the vilest of aberrations taking place in our own neighborhoods.......God help us!
The satanic democrats want to keep killing babies and soon will move to start killing you and I to sell our body parts. It is happening in China and could happen here in the open as well.
Agreed. And I regularly mention the major media corps staining the Country today — Comcast & Disney.
The drums would drown out the horrific screams of the little child. The child's face would contort into a hideous grimace from the searing pain when it was placed onto the red hot altar of Moloch, and the people called this "The Grinning."
That is Molech, which was of copper, and they would heat it up from underneath it with its hands spread out and heated. And they would place the child on his hands, and he would be burnt and moan, and the priests would beat drums so that the father should not hear his sons voice and take pity. It is called Topheth because of the drum (תּוף), Hinnom because of the childs moaning (נהמת).
The Carthaginians did the same thing:
[W]ith full knowledge and understanding they [the Carthaginians] themselves offered up their own children, and those who had no children would buy little ones from poor people and cut their throats as if they were so many lambs or young birds; meanwhile the mother stood by without a tear or moan; but should she utter a single moan or let fall a single tear, she had to forfeit the money, and her child was sacrificed nevertheless; and the whole area before the statue was filled with a loud noise of flutes and drums, which took the cries of wailing, so that they did not reach the ears of the people.
Ten months ago, NY Gov Cuomo ordered the top of One World Trace Center to be lit in pink, to "celebrate" his signing of a bill allowing the slaughter of children "to the point of birth." With usual doublespeak, the law is called: The Reproductive Health Act
He even tweeted the photo.
Have you ever notice that even the media, and society, tells us how WONDERFUL abortion is - - but - - they ban almost all photos, videos, testimony, and evidence of its real horror? You can find almost anything on the web. Try and find the true details about abortion. If it is posted, Google/Facebook/YouTube/Twitter/Instagram will quickly pull and ban it.
We also "Beat the Drums" to drown out the ugly truth of abortion.
Come quickly, Lord Jesus.
Boy over the years your threads have gone from abortion articles to now MANY outside of the fetus murders!
OF COURSE both are murders.
But they have crossed the line into what is LEGALLY in this country right now, murder.
These aren’t even abortions anymore, many of them.
They are outside of the womb murder.
I fear what you may find at the next level...
how much horrifying can it get??
No one knows any of this except people here because you report on these things.
The MSM would NEVER touch it.
Morgana, maybe you should a website or blog or something.
You so much of what’s going on it would be great to reach 10s of thousands.
Just a thought.
I know dozens in my family alone who would follow it.
Delende est Planned Parenthood
What sick sadistic maggots.
It is interesting that you mention the Carthaginians in your post. They by ancestry are direct descendants of the Phoenicians who also practiced horrific Moloch worship.
When even the Romans wrote about the detestable child-sacrificial practice, you know it was horrific.
They did it so frequently that it had a direct impact on their own population and ability to wage war with Rome - eventually leading to their downfall. Whenever they went to war, they had to recruit mercenaries to fill the ranks because their population could never sustain a full army (i.e. Hannibal).
Come Lord Jesus!
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.