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California AG Linked to Planned Parenthood

Contact: Liberty Counsel, 407-875-1776, Media@LC.org; Press Kit 

SAN FRANCISCO, March 31, 2017 /Christian Newswire/ -- The California Attorney General behind the criminal indictment of the two pro-life journalists, Sandra "Susan" Merritt and David Daleiden, has received thousands of dollars from Planned Parenthood.

When pro-abortion California Governor Jerry Brown named Xavier Becerra as attorney general, Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, said, "Planned Parenthood Federation of America applauds Gov. Brown's appointment of Rep. Xavier Becerra as California's Attorney General. Rep. Becerra is a long-time champion for women's reproductive rights and health. As a former California Deputy Attorney General, he understands the importance of a woman's right to access the full range of health care, including safe, legal abortion. At a time when reproductive health is gravely under attack in states across the country, we need leaders like Rep. Becerra to be responsible stewards of the law and protect the rights of millions of Americans, including the 850,000 California women, men and families that Planned Parenthood serves every year."

Data from the Center for Responsive Politics shows that Becerra received $1,000 in 2014, $2,000 in 2012, $500 in 2004, $1,000 in 2002, and $1,035 in 1998 in congressional campaign contributions from Planned Parenthood.

Becerra replaced Kamala Harris, who now represents California in the U.S. Senate. Harris received $2,600 from Planned Parenthood during her 2016 Senate campaign. Her office spearheaded an investigation into Merritt and Dalieden's organization, The Center for Medical Progress, and collaborated with Planned Parenthood to draft legislation criminalizing the recording or distribution of a private conversation with a health care provider. 

This week, Planned Parenthood endorsed Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez in his campaign to replace Becerra for the 34th Congressional District. Gomez received a perfect score on Planned Parenthood’s legislative score card and was honored last year as a "Champion of Choice" by the organization. He also authored a bill last year that added penalties for distributing secret recordings.

"There is obvious political motivation behind the recent baseless criminal charges against Sandra Merritt and David Daleiden," said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, who represents Merritt. "Our client did not break any laws. With all the investigative media and reality TV shows that use investigative journalism in California, there has been no effort by the state to prosecute and for good reason, because the First Amendment has something to say about this. The Attorney General has engaged in selective prosecution to target pro-life speech. When law enforcement selectively targets people, everyone should be concerned. This effort will fail," said Staver.

Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.