- The Washington Times - Friday, July 31, 2015

The National Abortion Federation filed a motion Friday to stop the release of video filmed at its annual meeting by the Center for Medical Progress, the pro-life group behind a series of devastating Planned Parenthood recordings.

The California-based federation asked the federal court in San Francisco to grant a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to bar the release of footage from NAF annual meetings or disclose the names and addresses of members, arguing that such information was illegally obtained.

The federation also asks for the court to order the pro-life group to stop “attempting to gain access to any future NAF meetings.”

“The safety and security of our members is our top priority,” said Vicki Saporta, NAF president and CEO, in a statement. “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.”

The federation is the second video target to take the center to court over its undercover recordings. Earlier this week, Stem Express, a California-based bioservice company that transfers fetal tissue and organs from abortion clinics to medical researchers, was granted a temporary restraining order on footage obtained during a dinner with three employees.

That case is scheduled to go before a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Joanne O’Donnell on Aug. 19.

The pro-life Alliance Defending Freedom issued a statement in support of the center, calling the federation’s request for a court order “just the latest attempt of the abortion lobby to cover up the truth of its embarrassing, inhuman actions”

“There’s a reason they don’t want their activity discussed in the light of day,” said the Friday statement by ADF senior counsel Casey Mattox. “Instead of openly telling America what they’ve been doing, they instead seek to suppress those who will reveal the truth.”

The California-based CMP, which has posted online four videos with Planned Parenthood and StemExpress officials since July 13, has denied that its investigators violated the law during their probe.

Derek Foran, litigation partner with Morrison & Foerster, the San Francisco-based group representing NAF in its lawsuit pro bono, said the law firm was “proud to stand with NAF and its members in the fight against anti-abortion extremists.”

“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,” Mr. Foran said in a statement.

The pro-life center’s Human Capital investigation has prompted a flurry of congressional and state investigations, as well as calls to defund Planned Parenthood, which receives roughly $500 million in annual funding.

The group is expected to release as many as a dozen videos featuring undercover footage of abortion providers, pro-choice officials and fetal-tissue companies.

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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