Catholic World News

Texas grand jury absolves Planned Parenthood, indicts undercover filmmakers

January 26, 2016

A Texas grand jury, investigating charges that Planned Parenthood engaged in the sale of fetal body parts, has declined to bring charges against Planned Parenthood, and instead has brought criminal charges against the filmmakers whose videos exposed the practice.

The Harris County grand jury indicted David Daleiden, the head of the Center for Medical Progress, and his colleague Sandra Merritt on a felony charge of tampering with a public record. The indictment did not provide any further explanation of the charge. The grand jury also charged Daleiden with buying fetal tissue-- a misdemeanor.

In a response to the indictments, the Center for Medical Progress said that the group "follows all applicable laws," while using undercover methods that have become common in investigative reporting. The group pointed out that Planned Parenthood has been unable to deny the clear evidence, provided in the undercover videos, that the group is involved in the sale of fetal tissues.

The indictment of Daleiden for buying fetal tissues is ironic, the Center remarked, since "buying fetal tissue requires a seller as well."  

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  • Posted by: Tex - Jan. 26, 2016 8:05 PM ET USA

    As the NY Times noted, in eagerly covering this story, the public document amounts to an altered ID. One wonders how many Texas Grand Jury indictments there have been for underage beer buyers? In any case, the Times didn't cover Daleiden's important address to the San Francisco March for Life participants or Archbishop's Cordileone's remarks at the March on morality vs. legalistic dodges.

  • Posted by: stpetric - Jan. 26, 2016 7:11 PM ET USA

    Grand juries bring charges at the request and under the direction of prosecutors. (The old joke is that an astute prosecutor can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich.) My inference, then, is that the Harris County prosecutor is the one leading the charge here.

  • Posted by: unum - Jan. 26, 2016 6:25 PM ET USA

    Political justice is no justice at all! Fortunately, Governor Greg Abbot, who is pro-life and the former Texas Attorney General, has vowed to keep the investigation alive and see that justice is done.