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California close to criminalising undercover filming at abortion clinics

Assembly member Jimmy Gomez backed the new bill (AP)

Californian lawmakers have passed a Planned Parenthood-backed bill criminalising undercover filming at abortion clinics.

The bill – titled “AB 1671” – was passed in the state assembly last week with a 52-26 majority vote. The senate went on to approve the bill with a party line vote of 26-13.

The new bill prohibits the recording and distribution of confidential communication with healthcare providers in the state. Violation of the new law can lead to a one-year prison sentence and a $2,500 fine. Repeat offenders can face a $10,000 fine.

The bill was proposed by assembly member Jimmy Gomez following the release of investigative footage by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) uncovering Planned Parenthood’s sale of foetal tissue to biotechnology companies.

The footage had been filmed in Texas in 2015 by CMP founder David Daleiden and member Sandra Merritt. The pair were indicted in January this year but later had the case filed against them dismissed in court.

In a press statement, Kathy Kneer – CEO of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California – praised the bill, saying: “If we’re going to protect the right to abortion, we must protect the privacy and safety of medical providers.”

Pro-life groups criticise the new law. David Daleiden told LifeSiteNews: “Planned Parenthood still can’t own up to the fact that their senior leadership was caught on camera talking about which places on a late-term baby to crush or not crush in order to harvest the most valuable body parts for sale.”

Pro-life advocates have urged California Governor Jerry Brown to veto the legislation, which he must decide on by the end of September.