By Cheryl Sullenger

San Francisco, CA – Yesterday, closing arguments from the pro-life defendants’ side were made in the Planned Parenthood v. CMP et. al. baby parts RICO case.  After seven weeks of trial testimony, the case is now with the jury.

Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue, one of the defendants in this case, served as a founding member of the board for the Center for Medical Progress, which produced a series of undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood executives discussing their secret trade in aborted baby remains. 

Troy Newman and his legal team from the ACLJ at the Federal Court in San Francisco, CA.

Once jury deliberations began, Newman shared his reflections on the blur of events that took place after the initial release of the video series beginning in July 2015:

At once Planned Parenthood went into full-blown attack mode. They hired Fusion GPS, (yes, that Fusion GPS), to discredit the videos. Every news channel parroted the same lines that the videos were “misleading, highly edited, discredited, manipulated.” Planned Parenthood’s public relations firms kicked in to high gear with a media campaign with talking points meant to convince the public that PP does not sell baby parts, babies are not born alive during abortions, and abortion procedures are not modified to get better fetal body parts. Planned Parenthood claimed total innocence and claimed the CMP journalists were the liars.

However, near the end of the trial, Planned Parenthood dropped all demands for reputational damages.  No evidence was provided to show that the videos were altered in any way.  Fusion GPS was never called to testify – because their so-called forensic analysis of the videos was a fraud, just like the fake Steele Dossier that it manufactured to smear President Donald J. Trump.

Newman explained:

Planned Parenthood presented NO EVIDENCE that proved they did not kill babies in order to harvest and sell their remains. In fact, the contrary happened. Experts from “tissue procurement companies” were brought in and testified they still have contracts with Planned Parenthood to buy brains, livers, lungs, and other “tissue.” Stem Express is still very much in bed with the baby killers at Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood never once refuted the claim that abortion methods were altered in order to get more intact specimens.

Harry Mihet, an attorney with the Liberty Counsel who represented Newman’s co-defendant Sandra Merritt, posted his moving closing arguments on Facebook, which can be read in full here.

Mihet stated to the jury (in part):

Now when we started this journey together six weeks ago (feels like six years), I told you that we would answer the question of WHY. Why did Sandra Merritt leave the comforts of family, home and retirement to take on a $2 billion-dollar corporate giant, knowing full well that Planned Parenthood could crush her with its lawyers and resources?

The answer you heard from her is simple, and yet profound: her conscience would not let her forget the things that she learned about the trafficking of human organs:

• Ms. Merritt could not forget the evil laughter of Dr. Miles Jones in the 20/20 video, who likened the human fetus to a “golden goose” and bragged about the obscene amounts of money he made in selling human fetuses piece by piece.

• Ms. Merritt could not forget the inconsolable weeping of Cindy Smith, the mother of twins in that 20/20 video, who was never asked to consent to the selling for profit of her unborn twins’ body parts.

• Nor could Ms. Merritt ignore the head of fetal tissue purchaser and Planned Parenthood partner ABR, who admitted in that 20/20 video that ABR gave its abortion provider partners manual syringes to maximize the dollar value of the human organs they obtained from patients, knowing full well that using manual syringes prolonged the abortion procedure by as much as 15 minutes.

• Nor could Ms. Merritt forget learning about the Stanford study involving human hearts procured by StemExpress – another Planned Parenthood partner – and hooked up to Langendorff Perfusions.

• Nor could she forget the absolute horror when she learned from Mr. Daleiden and Dr. Deisher that Langendorff Perfusions ONLY WORK ON HEARTS THAT ARE STILL BEATING, meaning that they must have been taken out of born alive human beings.

From Langendorff perfusions on live beating hearts, to fetuses “just falling out intact”: Ms. Merritt’s conscience told her that she could not sit idly by, and that she needed to investigate whether people in the fetal tissue world were committing medical battery by changing abortion procedures without consent, or were cutting beating hearts out of living, born-alive human beings and selling them to the highest bidders to finance lavish lifestyles and Lamborghinis.

Now I KNOW that these truths are very difficult to hear, and I’m sorry that you have had to hear them throughout this trial, and that I have to remind you of them again today. But they SHOULD be difficult to hear, because we do NOT want to become a society where these kinds of things can be uncovered, heard and then swept under the rug and ignored.

And yet, this is EXACTLY what Planned Parenthood is asking you to expect that Ms. Merritt should have done. They’re asking you to believe and to hold that the ONLY rightful and lawful response that Ms. Merritt, Mr. Daleiden and the other Defendants could have had was to say “Oh well, such is life – nothing I can do about that.” Turn a blind eye, and move on.

Well, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I KNOW that you can’t do that.

Mihet’s closing arguments dealt with provable lies Planned Parenthood told the jury:

Now, let’s talk about the so-called “lies.” It is Planned Parenthood – not the Defendants – who lied to you on the witness stand, and then yesterday Planned Parenthood lied again when it told you that Defendants had lied.

You heard from Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Thomas Moran:

• Planned Parenthood flew him out here just so he could tell you that he was filmed in ONE video that was NEVER released to the public. So why did he bother to come, if the video had never been released?

• Oh, that’s right, he HAD to tell you that he was really worried that he would be outed to the public as an abortion provider – that was the entire point of his testimony.

• So, Planned Parenthood asked him: [show trial transcript] “Have you ever put out online that you are an abortion provider?” And he dutifully responded: “I have never done that.”

• Except that I then showed him the online pledge that he signed, where he identified himself online as an abortion provider, and pledged publicly to be a “loud and clear advocate for abortion rights.”

• And then, when I asked him:

“So your testimony that you have never, yourself, disclosed online that you are an abortion provider is not actually true, then, is it?

• What did he say? “Counselor, you got me.”

• In other words, the entire premise for him flying in to tell you about his fear of being outed as an abortion provider was FALSE, because he was already out and proud. He said repeatedly that he was proud to have signed that petition, as was his right.

• So why does Planned Parenthood have to rely on fabricated facts to establish its “damages” in this case? Because it has no real damages, that’s why.

UNFORTUNATELY, Planned Parenthood’s lying didn’t end there.

Just yesterday, Planned Parenthood told you that: [show transcript] Mr. Daleiden also lied to you and he told you from that stand that he was never asked to sign the National Abortion Federation Confidentiality Agreement in 2015.

“Oh, but we confronted him with footage from his own camera,” they said, “showing that he WAS asked at registration if he had signed an agreement, and only after we confronted him, did he admit his lies,” their fairy-tale story went.

Now this entire, elaborate take down of Mr. Daleiden was premised on the notion that he had testified under oath that he was never asked to sign a confidentiality agreement at NAF 2015. Planned Parenthood’s lawyer, Ms. Trotter, told you that’s what he said, and she even purported to show you a selectively edited and highly misleading portion of his testimony, to make it sound more believable.

But let me show you what she left out. Let me show you what she had actually asked Mr. Daleiden about this on the stand, and what he actually said: [show transcript]

So you see, Mr. Daleiden didn’t say he NEVER was asked to sign a confidentiality agreement in 2015. Instead, he said he didn’t know for sure, but he recalled someone at registration possibly asking something about it, but “I don’t recall her exact words.

So, in order to make the case to you that Mr. Daleiden lied, Planned Parenthood had to lie about what he said in the first place. They took his “I don’t know” and “I don’t recall her exact words” and transformed them into “They never asked me to sign,” WHICH MR. DALEIDEN NEVER SAID!

Now why would they do that? And who, may I ask, is trying to pull a fast one on you now?

Mihet addressed the tearful testimony of Planned Parenthood abortionist Deborah Nucatola, who was filmed lunching on salad and wine while dispassionately discussing crunching living babies in the womb in various places to ensure organs were intact and could bring the highest price:

Yeah, Dr. Nucatola cried a river of crocodile tears when she was on the stand. But when she was at that lunch, and she didn’t have a jury to impress, she didn’t shed a single tear over the heinous and horrific things she was callously spouting while munching on her salad.

So, where we have arrived, members of the jury, is that those whose truly shocking and heinous words and conduct was exposed are now asking you to “punish and deter” with PUNITIVE damages the citizen journalists who went undercover to expose them, so that no such exposure could ever happen again in the future, and so that Planned Parenthood can go on about its billion dollar taxpayer funded business, and continue is fetal tissue “donation” program [air quotes] behind closed doors.

This is outrageous! Is there no decency? Is there no decency?

[Long pause]

The mere thought of asking for ANY damages in this case, let alone punitive damages, transcends all bounds of decency, and should be rejected outright.

Jury deliberations are expected to take several days due to the complex nature of the case and the number of plaintiffs and defendants involved.  No matter the outcome, there are many appealable matters that should ultimately side with the defendants.

“I want to thank everyone who prayed for me and all the defendants in this case and for my attorneys with the ACLJ and all the other legal teams.  Your prayers were felt and meant a lot to all of us,” said Newman.  “Please keep praying as the jury deliberates for a positive outcome for us all.”

Operation Rescue will post updates on the verdict as soon as they are available.