Capitol Alert

Abortion rights foes want Kamala Harris to resign

Anti-abortion groups on Wednesday rallied outside Attorney General Kamala Harris’ office to call for her resignation – a week after her agents seized equipment from the apartment of activist and citizen journalist David Daleiden.

The event in Sacramento was designed to assign a political motive to Harris’ probe into Daleiden and his Irvine-based Center for Medical Progress, which has come under fire in California and other states for its surreptitious approach to gathering video footage of Planned Parenthood officials discussing the price and delivery of fetal body parts.

Harris’ spokesman said she could not comment on a pending investigation.

The afternoon protest drew dozens of students from California and other states, as well as conservative Assemblywoman Shannon Grove and representatives from anti-abortion organizations.

Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, said Harris, a leading Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, is acting as a “hired gun” for political benefactors such as Planned Parenthood. Hawkins defended Daleiden’s tactics and said Harris has overreached in its probe of his outfit. Last week’s search of his apartment, Hawkins said, was the kind of thing you might see for a drug dealer, not a citizen journalist.

“The question for the attorney general today is, ‘Who is next?’ Who is she targeting next?” she asked “Which pro-life organization, which pro-lifer will she be coming after next?”

Kathy Kneer, president and chief executive of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, issued a statement applauding Harris’ investigation into what she called the widely discredited practices of the “anti-abortion front group” Center for Medical Progress (CMP).

“CMP’s reckless and malicious video smear campaign is part of an extreme political agenda to spread lies about Planned Parenthood, prevent us from providing preventive and reproductive health care to our patients and to ultimately ban abortion across this country,” Kneer said. “Every state that has concluded an investigation into CMP’s claims – 12 at last count – has found that Planned Parenthood did nothing wrong. Eight states have declined to investigate at all, citing lack of evidence.”

Christopher Cadelago: 916-326-5538, @ccadelago