Texas Grand Jury Clears Planned Parenthood, But Indicts Anti-Abortion Activists For Secret Videos

  • by: Alan Duke

The anti-abortion activists who secretly recorded meetings with Planned Parenthood officials in an effort to discredit the organization have been indicted by a Texas grand jury. Planned Parenthood was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing.

The Harris County, Texas, district attorney launched the grand jury probe in response to undercover videos the appeared to show a Planned Parenthood executive discussing taking compensation for fetal tissue that came from abortions performed by her group's clinics.

David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, with an anti-abortion group called the Center for Medical Progress, face felony charges of Tampering with a Governmental Record. Daleidan also was indicted for Prohibition of the Purchase and Sale of Human Organs, a misdemeanor, for allegedly offering to buy human organs.

Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Rochelle Tafolla said the grand jury's findings affirm the group "follows local, state and federals laws and extremely high medical standards, and our first priority is patient care."

The anti-abortion activists "broke the law and committed fraud in order to spread lies about Planned Parenthood and today they're going to be held accountable for breaking those laws," Tafolla said.

Ironically, the investigation's results were the opposite of what Texas Lt. Dan Patrick wanted when he publicly called for it.

"We were called upon to investigate allegations of criminal conduct by Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast," Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson said in a written statement. "As I stated at the outset of this investigation, 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."

Warning: The video below has some graphic images of fetal tissue. It was posted on YouTube by the Center for Medical Progress, the anti-abortion group whose members are now charged with breaking Texas law in the making of it.

  Alan Duke

Editor-in-Chief Alan Duke co-founded Lead Stories after ending a 26-year career with CNN, where he mainly covered entertainment, current affairs and politics. Duke closely covered domestic terrorism cases for CNN, including the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, the UNABOMBER and search for Southeast bomber Eric Robert Rudolph. CNN moved Duke to Los Angeles in 2009 to cover the entertainment beat. Duke also co-hosted a daily podcast with former HLN host Nancy Grace, "Crime Stories with Nancy Grace" and hosted the podcast series "Stan Lee's World: His Real Life Battle with Heroes & Villains." You'll also see Duke in many news documentaries, including on the Reelz channel, CNN and HLN.

Read more about or contact Alan Duke

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