A federal appeals court on Wednesday barred the release of videos made by an anti-abortion group whose leaders are facing felony charges in California accusing them of recording people without permission in violation of state law.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling blocking the recordings made by the Center for Medical Progress at meetings of the National Abortion Federation, an association of abortion providers.
The Center for Medical Progress previously released several secretly recorded videos that it says show Planned Parenthood employees selling fetal tissue for profit, which is illegal. Planned Parenthood said the videos were deceptively edited to support false claims.
The videos stoked the American abortion debate when they were released in 2015 and increased Congressional heat against Planned Parenthood that has yet to subside.
It's not clear what's on the bulk of the recordings the group made at National Abortion Federation meetings.
A leader of the Center for Medical Progress, David Daleiden, said in a statement that the 9th Circuit was preventing the release of footage of Planned Parenthood leadership discussing criminal conduct at the meetings and its ruling was an attack on the First Amendment.