Supreme Court sides with Planned Parenthood in declining to hear case

The Supreme Court on Monday denied a request by a group of anti-abortion activists to throw out charges brought against them in a lawsuit from Planned Parenthood.

The Center for Medical Progress had requested the Supreme Court toss out Planned Parenthood's claims that they committed federal conspiracy and wiretapping violations. Planned Parenthood also claims that the Center for Medical Progress violated California law by fraudulently gaining access to its facilities.

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That lawsuit filed in 2016 was in response to the anti-abortion group releasing a series of edited videos the prior year that purportedly showed Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of fetal tissue.

The Supreme Court in declining to hear the case upheld a federal appeals court’s ruling.

The Center for Medical Progress, led by activist David Daleiden, had argued it was exercising its First Amendment rights in making the videos. The group also claimed that the Planned Parenthood lawsuit was in violation of California “anti-SLAPP” laws, which prevent strategic legal action aimed at silencing individuals or groups.

The release of the Planned Parenthood videos sparked outcry among Republicans in Washington, who used the footage to argue that the organization should be defunded. The videos did not show signs of criminal activity, but did spark several congressional investigations. A major House GOP probe stemming from the videos did not lead to any charges for Planned Parenthood or its executives.

Planned Parenthood has maintained that it does not profit from the sale of fetal tissue to groups doing medical research.