July 31, 2015 - Attempting to stop an ongoing campaign of threats and harassment against health care providers, the National Abortion Federation filed suit today in federal court seeking a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction which would prohibit the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), David Daleiden, and others from releasing recordings and materials they illegally obtained at NAF’s educational meetings.
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, asks that the Defendants be preliminarily and permanently enjoined from publishing or otherwise disclosing any recordings or confidential information from NAF annual meetings, publishing or otherwise disclosing the names or addresses of any NAF members that they learned at NAF annual meetings, and attempting to gain access to any future NAF meetings.
NAF meetings are one of the only places where abortion providers can come together to learn about the latest research and advances in their field, and network without fear of harassment or intimidation. Many of the attendees are high-profile targets of anti-abortion extremists. Given the decades-long campaign of violence against abortion providers, NAF has strict security measures in place that are not common at other meetings.
“The safety and security of our members is our top priority,” said Vicki Saporta, NAF President and CEO. “That security has been compromised by the illegal activities of a group with ties to those who believe it is justifiable to murder abortion providers. CMP went to great lengths to infiltrate our meetings as part of a campaign to intimidate and attack abortion providers.”
In order to circumvent the very necessary security precautions NAF has in place, CMP engaged in a long-running illegal conspiracy. They set up a fake company and sent fake employees of that company with fake identities to misrepresent themselves and gain access to NAF’s annual meetings and member facilities that provide abortion care. They signed agreements with NAF that prohibited the activities they have engaged in, obviously with no intention of honoring those agreements.
“We are confident that when the facts about this extraordinary fraud come to light, the truth will prevail, and the public will see Defendants’ conduct for what it really is—an attempt to harass providers and further endanger women’s access to abortion care," said Derek Foran, litigation partner with Morrison & Foerster who is representing NAF in the lawsuit pro bono. “We are proud to stand with NAF and its members in the fight against anti-abortion extremists, who have smeared abortion providers and placed them in personal jeopardy, simply for ensuring the constitutional right of women in this country to make their own reproductive choices.”
CMP has already released four secretly-taped and highly edited videos with Planned Parenthood physicians, and has promised to release more in the future. Each video has been edited in such a way as to misrepresent and demonize abortion providers, and as a result, there have been death threats made online against those in the videos.
“We can expect similar threats against providers whose names and identities are revealed in future videos and releases from CMP,” said Saporta. “That is why it is so important for us to get a temporary restraining order.”
The suit, National Abortion Federation (NAF) v. Biomax Procurement Services LLC, The Center For Medical Progress, David Daleiden (Aka “Robert Sarkis”), and Troy Newman, was filed today in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.