Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit against an anti-abortion group called The Center for Medical Progress (Center) Thursday for a number of infringements. The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco.
The suit relates to videos that the Center released in July 2015 alleged to show that Planned Parenthood made profits by selling donated fetal tissue from its abortion clinics to researchers. The legal position is that donating fetal tissue for research is permitted. However, no profit may be made from the supply of donated fetal tissue to researchers or anyone else. That last act would infringe applicable federal law.
The lawsuit states that the videos were produced and distributed following the infringement of several laws and contracts, including breaching non-disclosure agreements, registering false identities and not obtaining consent before making recordings at medical conferences and meetings. "This case is about a network of anti-abortion extremists and the laws they broke in order to spread lies and harm Planned Parenthood," Dawn Laguens, vice president at Planned Parenthood, said in a conference call, according to Reuters.
Planned Parenthood says that many of its clinics do provide donated fetal tissue to researchers at a small price. However, the price does not go towards recording a profit, but towards meeting the costs it incurs in processing the tissue, CNN reported.
In the lawsuit, Planned Parenthood asks for both compensatory and punitive damages. In addition to that, they asked for additional money to cover for the additional expenses they have had to incur since July 2015 on strengthening security at their clinics around the country.
"My response is: Game on. I look forward to deposing all the CEOs, medical directors, and their co-conspirators who participated in Planned Parenthood's illegal baby body parts racket," said David Daleiden, one of the defendants and founders of the Center, according to the Associated Press.