A judge excluded evidence of the trafficking of organs and baby parts that Planned Parenthood might be carrying out, while presiding over a case of the multinational against investigator David Daleiden.
Over the past two weeks, Justice William Orrick has repeatedly blocked testimony, videos, and questions about Planned Parenthood’s alleged fetal tissue sales that the defendant was investigating and for which he was sued along with others associated with his organization, the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), The Federalist reported.
He repeatedly called on the jury to focus exclusively on whether Daleiden legally obtained confessions and evidence from Planned Parenthood employees, saying, “The case is not about the truth of whether plaintiffs profited from the sale of fetal tissue or otherwise violated the law in securing tissue for those programs.”
Orrick said the purpose of the lawsuit was different and, “Those issues are a matter of dispute between the parties in the world outside this courtroom,” he said.
“I just want to be very clear that I want these witnesses to be able to testify as to what their reasonable state of mind was with respect to the specific defense … but we’re not going into the truth of abortion procedures. I’ve excluded that,” Orrick said on the second day of the trial, after one of the defense attorneys, Horatio MIhet, asked CMP investigator Sandra Merritt about StemExpress, a company that buys human tissue from Planned Parenthood.
Nor on the third day did he allow screenshots of the order form for body parts of babies from the StemExpress website. “You go in there and it’s basically a custom order for fetal tissue. You put—there is a drop-down menu for gestational age. There is a drop-down menu for what type of tissues you want, quantities and so forth,” said Adrian Lopez, another CMP investigator.
” Your Honor, may I show the witness a screenshot of that website?” asked defense attorney Paul Jonna.
“Not—we can talk about it at the break, but tissue procurement organizations I’ve already made rulings on with respect to this,” Orrick replied.
But one of Orrick’s most controversial decisions came when it was discussed whether videos were considered “private”—and therefore legal, recorded in private spaces —or “confidential.
The judge allowed Planned Parenthood’s lawyers to play recordings of the undercover videos in question, however, an additional precaution was taken for the defense videos by making sure they were played without any sound or subtitles.
The trial, in which Planned Parenthood denounces investigator David Daleiden and his team for alleged illegal wiretapping, will continue to at least Nov. 15.