Federal appeals court blocks release of video by anti-abortion group

The 9th Circuit backed an injunction against anti-abortion proponents from releasing secret recordings of abortion providers. The anti-abortion group had signed an agreement not to distribute any information from the meeting without consent from the providers, the National Abortion Federation. The court ruled the information was obtained through fraud. The anti-abortion group said the information was newsworthy so they had a right to release the recordings since they contained evidence of crimes.  A federal district court found earlier that there was no such evidence. (Politico, March 29, 2017, by Josh Gerstein)

James Warren, Poynter Institute, March 30, 2017, cautions liberals from celebrating the indictment of anti-abortion activists for releasing confidential information. Laws penalizing secret recordings block serious reporting, and Warren argues that there should in any case be no criminal penalties for releasing the recordings. Warren does quote attorney Michael Dorf who observes that the two indicted men were not journalists so could not use the newsworthiness standard.