Planned Parenthood donated to the two California attorney generals responsible for bringing charges against the anti-abortion activists behind the fetal tissue scandal. The group also appears to have colluded with one of the State Attorneys in crafting legislation that would punish the undercover activists.
Though these ties are certainly worth mentioning in coverage of the charges, newsrooms have been conspicuously silent this week on both points. There's nothing to be found in reports published by the Associated Press, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post, USA Today and so on.
State Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who announced Tuesday that 15 felony charges had been brought against activists David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, is a former congressman. He served as a representative from California from 1992 to 2017.
As a member of Congress, Becerra received campaign multiple donations from Planned Parenthood, including $1,035 in 1998, $1,000 in 2002, $500 in 2004, $2,000 in 2012 and $1,000 in 2014, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., who initiated the investigation against Daleiden and Merritt when she served as State Attorney, received a campaign donation from Planned Parenthood in the amount of $2,600 in 2016.
She also received a total of $39,855 in 2016 from the abortion policy and pro-abortion right lobby, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Daleiden's team, the Center for Medical Progress, made headlines when they released several hours of surreptitiously recorded videos showing Planned Parenthood executives discussing compensation for packaging and delivering body parts salvaged from the corpses of aborted children.
The Center for Medical Progress posed as a legitimate healthcare group and organized several meetings with Planned Parenthood employees in California to discuss pricing and availability. The undercover tapes, which were filmed without the knowledge of Planned Parenthood employees, were released in batches.
Though Planned Parenthood's donations to its friends in the AG's office were small, it's still worth mentioning that the people investigating Daleiden and Merritt have also received money from the targets of the anti-abortion activists' undercover investigation.
It's also worth mentioning that former Becerra aide Lia Parada is a current Planned Parenthood lobbyist, and Ways & Means-connected lobbying firm Capitol Counsel claims the "sexual and reproductive health" group as a lobbying client.
Interestingly enough, there are virtually no mentions whatsoever in national media about Planned Parenthood's financial connections to Becerra and Harris. Also missing from national coverage of Tuesday's charges are any mentions of the apparent collusion between Harris and Planned Parenthood affiliates when she served as State Attorney.
Harris' office appeared to work closely in 2016 with Beth Parker, chief legal counsel for Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, over the wording of a bill that would make it illegal to secretly tape conversations with healthcare providers.
"Attached is the language for AB 1671, proposed amendments to Penal Code section 632," Parker wrote in an email dated March 8, 2016. "I look forward to your thoughts about this."
Parker sent a separate email on March 16, after the bill had gone through a few drafts, reading, "Here's the rewrite of the video tape bill," she wrote. "Let me know what you think."
The emails, which were obtained first by the Washington Times, were addressed to then-special counsel to the attorney general Jill Habig.
At Harris' direction, Daleiden's apartment was raided on April 5, 2016. His laptop, hard drives and phone were all confiscated.
Daleiden said Wednesday the 15 felony charges were "bogus," and claimed they come from "Planned Parenthood's political cronies."
"The public knows the real criminals are Planned Parenthood and their business partners," he told the AP.
Spokespersons for Harris and Becerra did not respond to the Washington Examiner's request for comment.