Dr. Russell Moore, the Southern Baptist public policy spokesman, says the pro-life journalists who obtained undercover videos and exposed Planned Parenthood's gruesome trafficking in body parts should be protected, not prosecuted.
"What we saw on those videos demands justice, not politically driven revenge on those who exposed the truth," he told CBN News. Moore is president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Other conservative and pro-life leaders have joined him in protesting the charges.
Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., called out California Attorney General Xavier Becerra for filing 15 felony charges against both David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt of the Center for Medical Progress. Becerra is charging that their videos of Planned Parenthood officials discussing the harvesting of the organs of aborted babies were made without the consent of the officials and violated state law.
But Black says Becerra has "shredded any guise of objectivity and exposed his total inability to be a neutral arbiter of the law in this case" explaining that he accepted Planned Parenthood's endorsement in his recent election.
Lawyer and National Review columnist David French says the case "reeks of selective prosecution," adding "there is no shortage of example of concealed-camera videos in California exposing scandalous behavior." French cites undercover videos revealing animal abuse and noted the irony that these cases were not prosecuted.
He also argues that the recorded conversations took place at public locations and therefore don't fall under California's protected "confidential communication."
In Texas, similar charges against Daleiden and Merritt were recently dropped and their lawyers predict the same outcome in California. In a statement released by the Thomas More Society they maintain that the videos reflect "First Amendment values" and are legally allowed by "the same Constitutional protection that all investigative journalists deserve and enjoy."