The following comes from an October 14 Washington Post article by Sandhya Somashekhar:
David Daleiden, 26, is the antiabortion activist who masterminded the recent undercover campaign aimed at proving that Planned Parenthood illegally sells what he calls aborted “baby body parts.” He captured intimate details of the famously guarded organization, hobnobbing at conferences so secretive that they require background checks and talking his way into a back laboratory at a Colorado clinic where he picked through the remains of aborted fetuses and displayed them luridly for the camera.
This week, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards announced that the group would continue to donate tissue for medical research but would no longer accept compensation for storing and delivering the specimens. She said the organization has done nothing wrong but decided to take this step to disarm its critics.
Daleiden, characteristically, saw things in darker tones.
“It’s pretty much an admission of guilt,” he said this week.
Before emerging as the biggest star in the antiabortion firmament, Daleiden had long been a bit player. A Catholic and Southern California native who drives a Honda hybrid, Daleiden calls himself an investigative journalist and credits his California public school education with fomenting in him a passion for human rights.
At the conservative Values Voter Summit in Washington late last month, Daleiden wore his signature dark blazer and skinny black tie and a pair of “Nightmare Before Christmas” socks. During a break, he described himself as the result of a “crisis pregnancy,” born while his parents were in their junior year of college.
“I always grew up with the understanding that some people have kids in less than fully intended situations and there’s nothing wrong with that,” he said.
As a college student, while on assignment for a professor, Daleiden wound up at a conference on stem cell research where a presenter mentioned that the results of her work had been drawn from the brains of aborted fetuses.
“I thought, wait, did I hear that right?” he recalled.
His horror stuck with him for years, as did what he sees as a cruel paradox — that when it comes to a fetus, “its humanity isn’t considered valid, yet it’s precisely that same humanity that makes it valuable for experimentation.”
He soon began to hatch an audacious plan to infiltrate Planned Parenthood to its very senior reaches. He pulled the trigger in 2013.
Daleiden estimates that about a third of his footage is now in legal limbo. But someone is watching it — the House Oversight Committee has subpoenaed the footage as part of its investigation into Planned Parenthood.
Asked by conservative talk-show host Glenn Beck whether he had ever encountered “evil,” Daleiden described a discussion with one of the few doctors in the United States who perform abortions in the third trimester.
“She wasn’t suspicious of my character. Everything was going well,” he told Beck. “We were talking and kind of joking, laughing about something. And all of a sudden she looked straight in my eyes, and I saw almost a flash of light go from one eye to the other . . . and all of a sudden her eyes looked hard and mean and aggressive, and for the first time in this entire project, I felt actually afraid.”
“On some level,” he continued, “we feel like that was the predator look or predator instinct that you see in someone who is accustomed to killing people.”