Friday, August 21, 2015

California Firm Says Anti-abortion Activists Misleading Courts, Endangering its Employees

A California stemcell/human tissue company this morning renewed its efforts to halt distribution of a video by anti-abortion activists that it says will endanger its employees and damage its business.

The firm, StemExpress LLC of Placerville, said in court filings that it was only seeking to stop the distribution of the video, not the information contained within it.

It said that the activists, the Center for Medical Progress of Irvine, Ca.,  and David Daleiden, have misled the judge in the case. The firm said the activists want to distribute the video to “inflame” the public against the company and provoke a “hostile reaction.” The company has already received death threats against its president.

StemExpress also said its request for a preliminary injunction does not violate the First Amendment of the Constitution.

The firm argued that such orders have been upheld in other cases “where anti-abortion protesters were constitutionally enjoined not in what they wanted to say, but how, where, and when they wanted to say it.  Such injunctions are simply not subject to strict constitutional scrutiny.”

The activists have argued that they did not violate state law barring recording the conversations without the permission of all parties because the discussions involved a crime -- “harvesting and killing live babies for resale.”

StemExpress noted that the activists did not report any alleged crimes to authorities during a two-year investigation.

The court filing said the activists’ belief that StemExpress is
“…‘harvesting and killing live babies for resale’ is neither objectively reasonable nor credible from a subjective standpoint.  First, abortion before viability is not murder in California…. While defendants may wish that abortions were illegal and constitute murder, that is simply not the law.  This alone precludes defendants’ purported ‘defense’ of their illegal conduct.  Second, defendants have no evidence that would even remotely support the claim that plaintiffs participated in any abortion procedure involving a viable fetus.  To state the obvious, StemExpress does not perform abortions.  And contrary to Daleiden’s hearsay statements, StemExpress has never received a living, fully-intact fetus from an abortion clinic.”
Here is the full text of this morning's filing.

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