[Shortly after Sean Erenstoft contacted Planned Parenthood with the below article, Planned Parenthood filed suit against David Daleiden and others in connection with their conduct intended to defame the agency. (See, Complaint)].
The recent publication of doctored video purportedly depicting Planned Parenthood personnel discussing the sale of “baby parts” has captured the public ire and subjected Planned Parenthood to untold harm to its brand. A lawsuit alleging defamation and false light should immediately be filed against David Daleiden and his Center for Medical Progress and should be coupled with an emergency restraining order to cause him to cease and desist from further publication of his false and misleading videos.
Until the publication of a series of highly edited videos intended to offend even the most strident women’s rights advocates, Planned Parenthood remained the world’s most trusted health care provider, educator, passionate advocate, and global partner helping similar organizations around the world deliver vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of women, men, and young people.
Based in Irvine, California, The Center for Medical Progress and its founder, David Daleiden, a California resident are subject to California laws (and its jurisdiction) for civil wrongdoing including defamation and casting Planned Parenthood in a false light. Whereas defamation is a civil citation checking patent falsity, the false light laws pertain to the negative implications of publications regardless of truth. David Daleiden and his organization intentionally produced, edited and distributed (on its own websites) videos which create a false impression about Planned Parenthood and served to defame its employees who were captured in unlawful recordings.
The case of Gill v. Curtis Publishing Co. is instructive and serves to describe the California Supreme Court’s analysis of a case remarkably similar to the case that should likely be brought against Planned Parenthood’s detractor. In the Gill case, the Gill plaintiffs were unknowingly captured in a photograph taken in front of their Farmer’s Market storefront while the married couple embraced. The photo was unwittingly published on the cover of a woman’s magazine illustrating an article scandalizing “love at first sight.” The implication, as the case expounded, was that the couple had engaged in a socially ill-advised relationship. Indeed, for the plaintiff to prevail, the publication must do more than create a false impression. . . it must be “highly offensive to a reasonable person.” (See, Fellow v. Nat’l Enquirer, Inc.). The fact of the doctored videos clearly establishes that the false publications were maliciously edited to ensnarl Planned Parenthood in what Mr. Daleiden intended as a sting-operation used to frustrate on-going funding efforts. Absurdly, this misfit, David Daleiden would later be captured on several news outlets bragging about his sting operation and gloating about the likelihood that his videos stood as a monument to an imminent government shutdown.
Planned Parenthood is likely a “public figure” as defined from decades of litigation thereby requiring it prove Daleiden’s “actual malice” to convict him of this civil tort. There is no doubt that the highly edited and contextual basis for the publication (as well as his expressed purpose for publication) will amply suffice to overcome this evidentiary foundation. (See, Readers’s Digest Ass’n v. Superior Court; and Solano v. Playgirl, Inc.).
David Daleiden was a pro-life activist even in high school involved in Live Action, an organization previously guilty of producing highly misleading videos concerning Planned Parenthood and other women’s health care facilities. One such video included an adult seeking an abortion but posing as a 13 year old intent on avoiding mandatory reporting requirements.
Mr. Daldeiden represents the worst kind of activism — that based on patently false sting videos focused on overturning a woman’s right to abortion. His distortion of the facts is not protected under our First Amendment to the United States Constitution as demonstrated in the cases I have presented in support of the litigation I propose against this domestic terrorist. Certainly, if you want to change the law, have an honest conversation.
Sean Erenstoft has been an outspoken advocate for women’s reproductive rights and believes that Congress’ recent threats to defund Planned Parenthood following the false accusations leveled by Daleiden and his merry band of misfits only serves to disqualify Republican efforts to retake the White House in November. Erenstoft has proposed publishing a similar rating system as that used by the NRA in “grading” congresspersons on their stances on privacy rights and the rights of women.
Sean Erenstoft can be reached at (310) 613-8887.