Grand Jury Indicts Leader behind Undercover Videos on Planned Parenthood
A Houston grand jury has indicted two prolife activists with the Center for Medical Progress for their involvement in producing undercover videos that exposed the abortion giant engaging in selling fetal body parts.
CMP founder David Daleiden was indicted on a felony charge of tampering with a government record and a misdemeanor count related to purchasing human organs. Sandra Merritt was also charged with tampering with a government record.
It is not clear what government record is in question or why Daleiden faces a charge related to the sale of organ tissue. No details on the charges were provided.
CMP claims Planned Parenthood illegally sold fetal tissue, but officials with the abortion provider have denied any wrongdoing.
Last week, the abortion giant sued CMP for producing the undercover videos, accusing the center of exhibiting extensive criminal misconduct.
"This lawsuit exposes the elaborate, illegal conspiracy designed to block women's access to safe and legal abortion," Planned Parenthood's Executive Vice President Melvin Galloway said.
CMP started releasing videos in July 2015 alleging that Planned Parenthood sold fetal tissue to researchers for a profit.
Daleiden responded to the suit, saying he looked forward to confronting Planned Parenthood officials in court.
"My response is: game on," he said in an email. "I look forward to deposing all the CEOs, medical directors, and their co-conspirators who participated in Planned Parenthood's illegal baby body parts racket."
The same grand jury investigating the undercover footage found no wrongdoing on the part of Planned Parenthood.
The governor of Texas says the indictments will not affect the state's investigation of the videos. Other states are investigating Planned Parenthood as well.
Meanwhile, Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, is calling the indictments "complete corruption."
He notes that one of the prosecutors in the Harris County District Attorney's Office has been a Planned Parenthood board member since 2013.