Just days after last week’s March for Life, a grand jury in Harris County, TX not only cleared Planned Parenthood in relation to the horrifying undercover videos released last summer, but it instead issued an indictment against the developers of those films. David Daleiden, head of the Center for Medical Progress, now faces a misdemeanor charge for attempting to purchase human organs and, along with his colleague Sandra Merritt, a felony accusation for tampering with government records (driver’s licenses). While Planned Parenthood welcomed the indictments, the Center for Medical Progress defended its undercover techniques as in line with the First Amendment freedoms of speech and press and added “that buying fetal tissue requires a seller as well.”
Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), called the grand jury’s ruling “bizarre” and commented, “By giving Planned Parenthood a pass and indicting two pro-life journalists who merely revealed this horrific practice through their undercover work, the action of this local grand jury raises serious questions about the appropriate use of our legal system.” He stated that ACLJ is developing materials “explaining how legally absurd this indictment is.”
On Capitol Hill, Rep. Diane Black (R-TN), who has been a leader in the effort to federally defund Planned Parenthood, declared, “It is a sad day in America when those who harvest the body parts of aborted babies escape consequences for their actions, while the courageous truth-tellers who expose their misdeeds are handed down a politically motivated indictment instead.”
State government officials in Texas have indicated that their investigation of Planned Parenthood will continue.
By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations
Published: January 29, 2016