Houston grand jury won’t indict Planned Parenthood — instead charges anti-abortion duo
A grand jury in Harris County, Texas opted not to charge Planned Parenthood officials and instead indict the two anti-abortion activists who secretly filmed them, the Houston Chronicle reported.
The jurors indicted David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt for tampering with a governmental record. Daleiden was also indicted on a separate charge of prohibition of the purchase and sale of human organs.
The health care organization said in a letter to lawmakers that Daleiden secretly recorded its staff and patients more than 60 times over the past eight years, while also using fake aliases and government identification cards and creating a fake company in order to gain access to facilities and medical conferences.
Merritt and Daleiden accused Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast of improprieties in April 2015 after releasing video footage allegedly showing an official negotiating reimbursement fees in connection with the “procurement” and donation of fetal tissue. The videos spurred Gov. Greg Abbott (R) to open an investigation into the group’s practices.
Similar accusations were made against Planned Parenthood on a national level after the release of several deceptively-edited videos by an anti-abortion group, the Center for Medical Progress (CMP). Not only were the CMP’s videos quickly debunked, but investigations at both the congressional and state level failed to produce evidence of wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood.
The healthcare group filed a federal lawsuit against the CMP late last week, accusing it of conspiracy and fraud.