Matt C. Abbott
Abortion foes Daleiden, Newman convicted in RICO case
By Matt C. Abbott
November 17, 2019

An unfortunate yet unsurprising verdict was handed down in a California court Nov. 15.

From Tom Ciesielka, spokesman for the Thomas More Society (edited):
    Undercover journalist David Daleiden [and pro-life activists Troy Newman, Sandra Merritt, Albin Rhomberg and Adrian Lopez] faced a major setback in San Francisco's U.S. District Court after a jury handed down a verdict in favor of abortion giant Planned Parenthood.

    According to Tom Brejcha, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Society, the jury awarded Planned Parenthood '$1.35 million in damages on the RICO (racketeering) charges, $870,000 in punitive damages and presumably millions of dollars in attorneys' fees on top of that.'

    The Thomas More Society has defended Daleiden against Planned Parenthood since the multi-billion dollar abortion provider sued him for exposing the corporation's role in alleged illegal baby body parts trafficking. The lawsuit was brought by Planned Parenthood Federation of America and ten of its abortion affiliates after Daleiden's 2015 release of a series of investigative videos that exposed the underbelly of the fetal tissue trade.

    'This lawsuit is payback for David Daleiden exposing Planned Parenthood's dirty business of buying and selling fetal parts and organs,' declared lead Thomas More Society defense attorney Peter Breen. 'We intend to seek vindication for David on appeal. His investigation into criminal activity by America's largest abortion provider utilized standard investigative journalism techniques, those applied regularly by news outlets across the country.

    'David's findings revealed practices so abhorrent that the United States Congress issued criminal referrals for Planned Parenthood; and numerous states and elected officials have moved to strip it of funding. Rather than face up to its heinous doings, Planned Parenthood chose to persecute the person who exposed it. I am fully confident that when this case has run its course, justice will prevail, and David will be vindicated.'

    The civil trial, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, al v. Center for Medical Progress et al, was argued before Judge William H. Orrick III and the verdict handed down by a panel of 10 jurors.

    Attorneys from the Thomas More Society continue to defend Daleiden in an ongoing California state criminal trial over the same video exposés. People of the State of California v. David Robert Daleiden and Sandra Susan Merritt is being heard in the Superior Court of California County of San Francisco by Judge Christopher Hite. Daleiden is being prosecuted by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, after being initiated by his predecessor, current Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris – both of whom have been closely allied with, and supported by, Planned Parenthood.

    The Thomas More Society is perhaps most notable for successfully defending veteran pro-life activist Joseph M. Scheidler in the seminal RICO lawsuit NOW v. Scheidler, which went to the U.S. Supreme Court three separate times in 12 years (1994–2006). The entire case, from beginning to end, spanned 28 years (1986–2014).
Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue, released the following statement shortly after the verdict was announced: "I want to thank my legal team from the American Center for Law and Justice for their hard work defending me in this lengthy, complex, and difficult case, and look forward to a better outcome in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which has become more conservative thanks to new appointments made by President Trump."

© Matt C. Abbott


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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He also has an Associate in Applied Science degree in business management from Triton College. Abbott has been interviewed on HLN, MSNBC, Bill Martinez Live, WOSU Radio in Ohio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 2019 ‘Unsolved’ podcast about the unsolved murder of Father Alfred Kunz, Alex Shuman's 'Smoke Screen: Fake Priest' podcast, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) and WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wisconsin. He’s been quoted in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and other media outlets. He’s mentioned in the 2020 Report on the Holy See's Institutional Knowledge and Decision-Making Related to Former Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick (1930 to 2017), which can be found on the Vatican's website. He can be reached at

(Note: I welcome and appreciate thoughtful feedback. Insults will be ignored. Only in very select cases will I honor a request to have a telephone conversation about a topic in my column. Email is much preferred. God bless you and please keep me in your prayers!)


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