Day one of the preliminary hearing for pro-life activist David Daleiden kicked off Tuesday morning at the San Francisco Superior Court with testimony from an abortion technician, a third-trimester abortionist, and a vice president of the National Abortion Federation, who testified she doesn’t know what a human tissue procurement company is or does.
NAF Vice President of External Affairs Melissa Fowler also testified she recognized StemExpress—a human tissue procurement lab exposed in Daleiden’s undercover videos that is now under federal investigation—as a repeat vendor of her for-profit organization. NAF is a third-party abortion trade group.
The nine-day hearing is the first time Planned Parenthood leaders and affiliates have publicly gathered and testified in court since Daleiden’s Center for Medical Progress published 11 undercover videos featuring Planned Parenthood leaders discussing—and in some videos displaying—the harvesting and selling of aborted fetal organs and tissues.
Daleiden and his colleague Sandra Merritt face 14 criminal felony counts of eavesdropping and one count of conspiracy. The case marks the first time charges of eavesdropping have ever been made in California. During this hearing the judge will determine if there is probable cause Daleiden and Merritt committed a crime, and if so, will schedule a date for trial. Separately, the hearing for the civil case against Daleiden and Merritt will be held Sept. 30.