This is a case of poetic justice if I ever saw one.
After months of trying to taint Planned Parenthood’s practices as a healthcare provider and hamper with its government funding by accusing it of illegally selling fetal body parts, a group of anti-abortion activists have been hit with criminal charges for its misconduct against the organization.
David Daleiden, the director of the Center for Medical Progress, as well as one of his employees, Sandra Merritt, are facing felony and misdemeanor charges for tampering with government documents and purchasing human tissue.
Daleiden become famous in the summer of 2015 when he released a series of videos depicting him having conversations with Planned Parenthood officials about fetal remains and abortion procedures. The videos were recorded without the employees’ knowledge. Daleiden’s videos argued that Planned Parenthood had been using its services of providing abortions and exchanging reimbursements and donations for the procedures as a cover-up for trafficking and profiting from fetal remains.
The Washington Post reports:
The indictment did not reveal how the Center for Medical Process manipulated documents. But earlier this month, Planned Parenthood filed a federal lawsuit against the video creators, asserting the group broke several federal laws in its campaign to defame the health-care centers with mail fraud, invasion of privacy, illegal secret recording and trespassing…
In a statement issued Monday evening, the Center for Medical Progress said it “uses the same undercover techniques that investigative journalists have used for decades in exercising our First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and of the press, and follows all applicable laws. We respect the processes of the Harris County District Attorney, and note that buying fetal tissue requires a seller as well. Planned Parenthood still cannot deny the admissions from their leadership about fetal organ sales captured on video for all the world to see.”
Last year, Daleiden’s group released videos of Planned Parenthood officials discussing the transfer of tissue from aborted fetuses to research laboratories. The organization apologized for the candid language used by staffers but insisted it did not break any laws.
The grand jury reviewing the case has cleared Planned Parenthood of any illegal activity, though several states including Texas have made moves to cut federal funding for the women’s health organization since the videos were released.
Read more at the Washington Post.