The widespread release of covertly recorded Planned Parenthood attack videos has prompted a California Democratic assembly member to put forward new privacy protections.
A bill introduced last week by Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez of Los Angeles would prohibit the distribution of a video recording of a confidential communication without the consent of the involved parties.
A publicized video smear campaign against Planned Parenthood motivated the legislation, said Aaron Keshishian, communications director for Gomez. The Center for Medical Progress, an anti-choice front group that appears to have coordinated with Republican legislators, released secretly recorded, highly edited videos alleging the health-care provider unlawfully sells fetal tissue. Multiple state investigations have found no wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood, and a third-party forensic report has discredited the videos.
Recording a confidential conversation without the permission of all involved parties is generally outlawed in California, but AB 1671 specifically bars the distribution of such recordings without consent, Keshishian explained.
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“This takes it a step further,” Keshishian told Rewire in a phone interview. The bill, as introduced, is still in a rudimentary stage, and Keshishian said the legislation would be fleshed out with enforcement mechanisms and protections for police and the media.
Planned Parenthood is among the organizations that Gomez is working with on the legislation, Keshishian said.
The assemblymember said such a law is overdue.
“The law has never been really updated to take into account the new technologies we have … [people] being able to disseminate something rather rapidly,” Gomez told the Los Angeles Times.