Last July, videos surfaced accusing Planned Parenthood of being an organization of baby-slaughtering fetus hawkers. Today it turns out a Houston grand jury wasn’t going to believe that hooey.
As reported by CNN, an investigation into the Gulf Coast branch of Planned Parenthood has led a group of Harris County jurors to indict the videos’ creators, David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, with second-degree felonies for tampering with a governmental record. Daleiden has also been charged with a class A misdemeanor for trying to prohibit the purchase and sale of human organs.
Daleiden is the founder of The Center for Medical Progress, an inaccurately named anti-abortion group based out of Irvine, California. Last summer he, along with Merritt, created a fake biomedical company called Biomax Procurement Services and arranged meetings with Planned Parenthood officials to discuss the legal donation of post-abortion fetal tissue. After secretly filming these rendezvous, Daleiden probably laughed manically as he chopped and screwed the footage, making it seem as though Planned Parenthood was profiting from the sell of aborted babies.
For Daleiden and other anti-abortion activists, the indictment is surely a slap in the face. But for the state of Texas, it’s an embarrassment. When the severely manipulated videos first surfaced last summer, Texas Attorney Ken Paxton decided to officially look into them, prompting a 2-month investigation that resulted in grand jury proceedings.
Considering there had been no fetal tissue donation or collection in effect in Texas since 2011, many lawmakers believe that Paxton wasn’t nosing around to hold Planned Parenthood accountable, but to further politically dominate the issue of women’s health and reproductive rights, Yahoo reported.
Hopefully officials will now step off when it comes to such matters. As Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson stated today, “We must go where the evidence leads us. All the evidence uncovered in the course of this investigation was presented to the grand jury. I respect their decision on this difficult case.”
Regardless, Daleiden has never stopped defending his actions. Today, he said that he used “the same undercover techniques that investigative journalists have used for decades … exercising our First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and of the press.” The only problem is: Daleiden isn’t a journalist. He’s not even a “citizen journalist.” And usually when reporters go undercover, they’re trying to reveal some real big truth, not edit their findings for political gain.
In terms of his belief that Planned Parenthood is still profiting from abortions, Daleiden wrote back in August that, “Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards makes two key admissions today in Planned Parenthood’s letter to Congress: that Planned Parenthood gets paid $60 per baby body part harvested, and that Planned Parenthood doctors alter their abortion procedures to get higher-quality body parts.”
“When a Tissue Procurement Organization (like the one Daleiden made up) handles all dissection, packaging, and shipping of fetal organs, and all Planned Parenthood does is spend 10 minutes consenting a patient, the $60 per body part harvested quickly adds up to illegal baby parts profit for Planned Parenthood.”
Perhaps Daleiden forgot that Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell voted in 1993 to allow Planned Parenthood to get reimbursements from fetal tissue, making the $60 payment perfectly legal? Either way, Planned Parenthood’s Vice President of Communications Eric Ferrero summed up Daleiden’s crusade, stating that, “As the dust settles and the truth comes out, it’s become totally clear that the only people who engaged in wrongdoing are the criminals behind this fraud.”