Right Hooks

California Criminalizes Whistleblowing

Governor signs controversial Planned Parenthood protection bill into law.

Culture Beat · Oct. 3, 2016

A legislative win for Planned Parenthood is a loss of freedom of speech. California Governor Jerry Brown announced that he signed Assembly Bill 1617 into law. This controversial bill, drafted with the assistance of Planned Parenthood, criminalizes the intentional distribution or the aid and abetting in distribution of “confidential communication with a health-care provider that was obtained unlawfully.” This bill was designed as a means to protect Planned Parenthood from negative press, like the selling of aborted babies’ tissue that was revealed in a series of undercover whistleblower videos by David Daleidan and the Center for Medial Progress .

The controversial bill had even been challenged by the likes of the ACLU, which opposed it on the grounds that it discourages journalists and private citizens from exposing potentially dangerous or illegal practices within the health care industry. Even the leftist Los Angeles Times worried that the law opens the door for potentially huge “unanticipated and unwelcomed consequences” and that it “would heap more criminal and civil penalties on making a secret recording … simply to satisfy an interest group popular among Sacramento Democrats.”

California Assembly Bill 1617 is a classic example of government cronyism — the government making deal to protect a specific company and its bottom line while stomping all over the fundamental rights of individual citizens. Democrats like to tout themselves as the champions of individual rights against those of corporations, but in reality Democrats are the champions of the biggest “corporation” — government.

(Edited.)

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