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Middleman in PPFA baby body part scandal secures temporary restraining order

by | Jul 30, 2015

By Dave Andrusko

CEO AND FOUNDER of Stem Express, Cate Dyer, stands next to a photograph of a stem cell and smaller magnetically charged antibodies on at Stem Express on Pacific Street on Nov. 12. Lab technicians at the facility used the charged antibodies in the collection process of many different types of cells for research. Democrat photo by Shelly Thorene

On Tuesday a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge gave StemExpress part of what it sought: a temporary restraining order that bars the Center for Medical Progress from releasing any video from a May 22 meeting between the company and undercover investigators from the CMP.

“The company also asked for a temporary restraining order to prohibit the center from releasing or posting any documents on its website that mention StemExpress, including three already posted,” according to Kathy Robertson of the Sacramento Business Journal. However, “The judge denied that request.”

Planned Parenthood supplies fetal tissue and intact baby body parts to StemExpress. The company is a five-year-old business based in Placerville, California that “describes itself as ‘the largest provider of maternal blood and fetal tissue globally,” according to the New York Times. “It also says it offers ‘special discounts to the academic community.’”

Planned Parenthood has come under intense scrutiny as the public and legislators have seen and heard the cavalier, dehumanizing manner in which leading PPFA officials discuss how PPFA affiliates extract intact livers, hearts, lungs, and brains. A fourth video was released today.

StemExpress alleges the video was illegally recorded on May 22, according to Robertson.

CMP responded that it “follows all applicable laws in the course of our investigative journalism work and will contest all attempts from Planned Parenthood and their allies to silence our First Amendment rights and suppress investigative journalism.” CMP described StemExpress’s actions as “meritless litigation,” an attempt to stifle free speech and investigative reporting on “issues of burning concern to the American public.”

They are not succeeding—their initial petition was rejected by the court, and their second petition was eviscerated to a narrow and contingent order about an alleged recording pending CMP’s opportunity to respond.

 Judge Joanne O’Donnell “set an August 19 hearing to discuss a StemExpress request for a preliminary injunction until the matters are sorted out in court — and authorized expedited fact-finding on the issue,” Robertson reported.

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