Officials in California Attorney General Kamala Harris’ office collaborated with Planned Parenthood to draft legislation targeting the filmmaker behind controversial undercover videos of Planned Parenthood executives, according to emails obtained by the Washington Times.
California’s AB 1671 was crafted in response to the Center for Medical Progress’ videos that showed employees of the nation’s largest abortion provider describing the sale of aborted fetal body parts. It would criminalize the recording or distribution of a private conversation with a health care provider. The California Legislature passed the bill and it awaits a decision by the Gov. Jerry Brown (D).
In an editorial on the bill, the Los Angeles Times argued that, “even if you decry the Center for Medical Progress’ work,” the bill is “bad for whistleblowers.”
California Attorney General Kamala Harris (Getty Images)
The emails obtained by the Washington Times show that Beth Parker, chief legal counsel for Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, sent multiple drafts of AB 1671 to Jill Habig, who was then special counsel to the attorney general.
“Attached is the language for AB 1671, proposed amendments to Penal Code section 632,” Parker wrote in an email dated March 8. “I look forward to your thoughts about this.”
Parker later sent a revised draft of the legislation to Habig.
“Here’s the rewrite of the video tape bill,” she wrote in a March 16 email. “Let me know what you think.”
Harris is currently running for the U.S. Senate as a Democrat, and Habig now works for her campaign. On the campaign’s website, Harris urges supporters to sign a petition in defense of Planned Parenthood.
In April, David Daleiden, founder of the Center for Medical Progress, said that the California attorney general’s office seized his video footage and personal information during a raid on his home. After the raid, many pro-life organizations called for Harris’ resignation.
Steve Cooley, an attorney for the Center for Medical Progress, told TheBlaze that the emails “put flesh on our suspicions” about Harris’ “unholy alliance” with Planned Parenthood.
“This is a potential scandal,” Cooley said, arguing that the emails show Harris may have improperly used “state-paid attorney staff” and misused “the investigative powers of the attorney general’s office” to target Daleiden.
A spokesperson for Harris’ office did not immediately return TheBlaze’s request for comment.
Ana Sandoval, director of communications for Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, said in a statement to provided to the Times that the organization worked toward the bill’s passage: “As sponsor of the legislation, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California played an integral part in drafting amendments as the bill moved through the legislative process.”
The videos released by the Center for Medical Progress raised allegations that Planned Parenthood trafficked in aborted fetal body parts. Profiting from the sale of human organs – including those of the unborn – is a felony in the United States. Planned Parenthood has denied illegal conduct. The allegations are under an ongoing congressional investigation.
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