The grand jury that has been investigating Planned Parenthood after the “undercover” videos were shot by right-wing activists to try and disparage the organization has instead decided to indict the people who made the videos. That’s right, the grand jury found no wrongdoing on the part of Planned Parenthood, but it did among the people who set up the fake medical research company.
David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt are being indicted for tampering with a governmental record and the additional charge of Prohibition of the Purchase and Sale of Human Organs was given to Daleiden.
Harris County district attorney, Devon Anderson said in a statement,
We were called upon to investigate allegations of criminal conduct by Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast. 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.
Eric Ferrero, Vice President of Communications for Planned Parenthood Federation of America said,
These anti-abortion extremists spent three years creating a fake company, creating fake identities, lying, and breaking the law. When they couldn’t find any improper or illegal activity, they made it up.
These people broke the law to spread malicious lies about Planned Parenthood in order to advance their extreme anti-abortion political agenda. 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, and we’re glad they’re being held accountable.
If you remember from last year’s mockery of a hearing, Rep. Elijah Cummings gave a powerful speech where he called out the unlawful acts on the part of Daleiden,
He deceived, mislead, and essentially conned Planned Parenthood employees to try to achieve his goal. He gave them illegal contract proposals. He offered them huge sums of money. And he pursued them relentlessly. Some would say he was obsessed. Despite his best efforts Mr. Daleiden failed. There’s no credible evidence before this committee today that any Planned Parenthood employee agreed to any proposal to sell fetal tissue for profit in violation of the law.
Cummings clearly called it spot on. Many states have threatened to pull funding from Planned Parenthood over the months since the videos were leaked and Congress too threatened to cut funding. But the reality is they legally can’t. The states where they have tried to pull funding as a result of the videos are resulting in lawsuits and Congress seems to be trying to bury the whole issue since they know they’ve lost this round.
Ted Cruz, on the other hand, will likely double down. He nearly held up the budget, threatening a government shutdown, simply because of his own ideological war against Planned Parenthood. He’s likely to double down in the wake of this new turn. Try to hold your nose.
Congrats to Planned Parenthood for being on the right side of this and for continuing to help women and families.
Feature image via video capture.