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David Daleiden appeals to Supreme Court to lift injunction against release of Planned Parenthood videos

(Reuters/Lisa Fernandez/File Photo)FILE PHOTO: Anti-abortion activist David Daleiden, waits outside Superior Court in San Francisco, California, U.S., May 3, 2017.

David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) has asked the Supreme Court to lift the injunction against the release of undercover videos of Planned Parenthood officials at an abortion conference.

A lawsuit was filed by the National Abortion Federation (NAF) against Daleiden after he released videos purportedly showing Planned Parenthood directors negotiating the sale of baby body parts for profit. The NAF sought a gag order to prevent the release of additional footage recorded at its annual conferences.

On Thursday, a petition for writ of certiorari was filed by Life Legal Defense Foundation in an effort to seek a review of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in National Abortion Federation v. Center for Medical Progress.

"At issue in this appeal is a gag order, a preliminary injunction imposed specifically for the purpose of hiding information from the public, precisely because the information is of such significant public interest and concern — the procurement and sale of aborted fetal body parts," the petition states, according to Life Site News.

The gag order was issued by Federal Judge William Orrick last year after the NAF took Daleiden to court over the footage.

Daleiden, who serves as the project lead for CMP, insists that there is information being suppressed by the injunction that is of significant public interest and concern.

"Judge Orrick's gag order, issued at the behest of Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Federation, is an unprecedented attack on the First Amendment by a clearly biased federal judge," he said in a statement.

"Judge Orrick even wants to press his gag order in the California Attorney General's bogus criminal case against me — though he, NAF, and Planned Parenthood insist the gag order only applies to my defense, and not to the Attorney General's bogus prosecution," he continued.

Orrick found Daleiden and his attorneys in contempt for violating his court order last month after they released some of the videos online.

The judge awarded $137,000 to the NAF for attorney's fees, security costs, and for the staff time the abortion group claimed it has spent searching the internet for links to Daleiden's videos. Additionally, Daleiden was ordered to turn over the videos and any materials relating to the court order.

In June, CMP petitioned for Orrick to recuse himself from the case, alleging that the judge has previous involvement with a San Francisco resource center that partners with Planned Parenthood, but the request was initially denied.

Daleiden and his associate, Sandra Merritt, has been charged in California with 15 felony counts of recording confidential conversations without consent from all parties.

The first charges were dismissed by San Francisco Superior Court Judge Christopher Hite, but California Attorney General Xavier Becerra later amended and refiled the charges, subsequently adding in the file names of specific videos.

Daleiden's attorneys and other pro-life advocates have maintained that the charges are politically motivated and driven by the abortion lobby and its supporters.

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