Producers of Planned Parenthood Exposés Indicted, Face up to 20 Years in Prison

by Christine Niles  •  •  January 26, 2016   

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HOUSTON ( - A grand jury in Houston has indicted David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, the main actors in an undercover sting operation that exposed Planned Parenthood's traffic in aborted baby parts.

Daleiden, founder of the Center for Medical Progress, released the damning video footage starting last summer showing top-level Planned Parenthood executives haggling over prices for aborted baby parts as well as admitting to altering abortion procedures in order to get more intact fetal specimens — both violations of federal law.

Even so, the grand jury cleared Planned Parenthood of all wrongdoing while finding both Daleiden and Merritt guilty of tampering with a government record (a second-degree felony) as well as guilty of illegally selling human organs, because they posed as actors offering to buy fetal tissue to Planned Parenthood officials.

The government issued an arrest warrant Monday, and documents explaining the charges will be published Tuesday.

In response to the indictment, the Center for Medical Progress has released a statement denying all wrongdoing.

The Center for Medical Progress uses the same undercover techniques that investigative journalists have used for decades in exercising our First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and of the press, and follows all applicable laws. We respect the processes of the Harris County District Attorney, and note that buying fetal tissue requires a seller as well. Planned Parenthood still cannot deny the admissions from their leadership about fetal organ sales captured on video for all the world to see.

Ironically, the probe that ended up clearing Planned Parenthood began more than two months ago as the result of calls from Republican lawmakers wanting to investigate the abortion giant for potential criminal conduct.

Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion organizations are declaring a victory, but it remains the case that the video exposés did damage to the abortion conglomerate's reputation, leading to multiple investigations in various states as well as by Congress, which passed a law in both houses cutting off all federal funding to Planned Parenthood. Additionally, a number of corporations asked that their names be removed from a list of alleged sponsors of the abortion company.

Some pro-life activists are questioning the validity of the outcome. Lila Rose of LiveAction, who once worked with Daleiden, said Tuesday, "The district attorney's office was asked months ago about recusing itself from this case because one of its prosecutors serves as a board member of the Planned Parenthood affiliate involved in the case."

"It is unacceptable that the office did not recuse itself to eliminate any and all questions of potential bias," she insisted. "A special prosecutor should be appointed now to review this entire investigation."

In spite of the legal victory for Planned Parenthood, the Texas governor's office as well as the Texas Senate have announced they will continue separate probes of their own into the abortion giant's activities.

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, who initially called for the grand jury investigation, issued a statement Monday declaring the Senate would continue its investigation because "the horrific nature of these videos demand scrutiny and investigation."

Governor Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton also released similar statements. "The fact remains that the videos exposed the horrific nature of abortion and the shameful disregard for human life of the abortion industry," stated Paxton.


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