Remember the undercover video where an abortionist discusses the sale of aborted baby body parts and jokes about wanting a Lamborghini? For two weeks the civil trial of the investigators who secretly recorded that discussion, David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt of the Center for Medical Progress, has been going on in California. This week, the Planned Parenthood abortion doctor who was recorded making that Lamborghini comment testified in court that she did indeed make the statement, but said the video was edited and took her statement out of context.
The American Center of Law and Justice reported the testimony of Dr. Mary Gatter, who had to admit under oath that the Lamborghini comment was directly related to compensation for babies' body parts:
Attorney: "I believe I heard you testify that you believe that that video was -- the video of yourself -- was edited to show the worst possible parts of the conversation. Did I hear that correctly?"
Attorney: "What did you consider to be the worst possible parts of the conversation that were edited into this -- this video?"
Gatter: "I think they edited out the part where I mentioned multiple times that we were not permitted to accept any compensation over and above our expenses. I believe they edited out portions where I was definitive about that.
I believe they left in lighthearted comments meant not to be taken seriously, that were later twisted to be used against Planned Parenthood and myself. So yes, I believe there were several areas in which editing occurred."
Attorney: "What particular lighthearted comments were left in to give an incorrect impression, Dr. Gatter?"
It should be noted that Planned Parenthood's lawyer objected to this question but the judge overruled the objection and allowed her to answer. Gatter replied: "I believe I made a comment about joking about what I would receive in compensation, which was clearly meant to be not taken seriously."
Attorney: "And what was the comment, Dr. Gatter?"
Gatter: "I told them I wanted a Lamborghini."
Attorney: "And that (was) within the context of discussing the price that BioMax would be paying for fetal tissue. Correct?"
Gatter: "It was."
In addition to saying the subject matter of the recorded conversation was "no laughing matter," The ACLJ stated Dr. Gatter's claim that the video was edited is false, and that the full recording can be seen on YouTube.
Judge William Orrick made clear that actual facts of abortion procedures or the selling of body parts would not be allowed at the trial, according to the Washington Times.
He instructed the jury that the trial was "not about the truth of whether plaintiffs (Planned Parenthood) profited from the sale of fetal tissue or otherwise violated the law in securing tissue for those programs," prompting The Federalist to write that the judge is suppressing evidence and forcing Planned Parenthood attorneys "to make the case that Daleiden and his team illegally recorded private conversations, without admitting what exactly those conversations were about."
But facts about abortion procedures and the harvesting of body parts have come out when Planned Parenthood attorneys inadvertently opened the door in their questioning.
One big opening came on October 4th, when Planned Parenthood's lawyers called co-defendant Susan Merritt of the CMP to the stand, the ACLJ reports. They asked the pro-life grandmother who went undercover to expose Planned Parenthood, why she did it, why she recorded her conversations with a Planned Parenthood doctor. The judge allowed this line of questioning, and Merritt responded that her main reason for participating was to see if Planned Parenthood was engaged in criminal activity. She wanted to know, she testified, if abortionists were really willing to alter the abortion procedure in order to profit from the sale of human body parts, such as performing partial-birth abortion.
According to The Federalist, on Day Five, the court heard testimony from the former head of Planned Parenthood Northern California and Mar Monte, Dr. Leslie Drummond-Hay. She testified she was once asked to provide four intact limbs for the research company, StemExpress, and was successful in doing so.
In one of the undercover videos recorded by Daleiden, Drummond-Hay said StemExpress was so impressed by her specimens, they got "oohs and ahhs." During defense cross-examination, when asked what she meant by that, Drummond-Hay answered, "The tissue procurement company was happy with the specimen."
In his own trial diary blog, defendant David Daleiden himself describes the testimony on Wednesday of this week of Dr. Deborah Nucatola, former Senior Director of Medical Services for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, that also allowed facts about harvesting procedures to come out. Daleiden writes:
"For the first time in open court, the Defense played for the jury approximately 4 and a half minutes of Dr. Nucatola's conversation with CMP undercover investigators at a public restaurant in Los Angeles, in which she described using ultrasound guidance to flip a baby in the womb to feet-first breech position, in order to extract the baby intact and harvest whole, fresh organs. On the clip, Dr. Nucatola states, 'We've been pretty successful with that, I'd say.' Dr. Nucatola testified under oath that when this video was released in 2015, she 'felt the content was no big deal' and that she didn't think she said anything inappropriate on the video."
Jay Sekulow of the American Center of Law and Justice says Planned Parenthood had fought tooth and nail to keep this kind of information from coming to light, but their own attorney opened the door with his question, and the judge allowed it. Sekulow says this is "a very big deal in this case."
The trial of David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt is expected to continue at least through November 15th, with many more witnesses still to come. The court has allotted each side 45 hours to present its case.