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Grand Jury Probing Planned Parenthood Instead Indicts 2 Anti-Abortion Activists

HeadlinesJan 26, 2016
Hdlns1 pp

In a surprising reversal, a grand jury that was tasked with investigating Planned Parenthood has instead indicted two anti-abortion activists who filmed undercover and highly edited videos of Planned Parenthood officials. The grand jury had been set up to investigate allegations that Planned Parenthood sells fetal tissue, a claim the organization has repeatedly denied. But on Monday, Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson instead announced anti-abortion activist David Daleiden had been indicted on a felony charge of tampering with a government record and a misdemeanor charge related to the purchase of human organs. David Daleiden is the director of the anti-abortion group the Center for Medical Progress. He pretended to be a biotechnology representative to record covertly the videos of Planned Parenthood officials explaining how they share fetal tissue with researchers. The videos were then highly edited to suggest falsely the tissue is sold for profit, not shared. Sandra Merritt, another employee of the Center for Medical Progress, was also indicted on a charge of tampering with a governmental record. Planned Parenthood Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens spoke about the indictments.

Dawn Laguens: "At Planned Parenthood, we were always very confident that the grand jury would find no wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood. But the indictment today begins to unravel the criminal lengths that David Daleiden and the so-called Center for Medical Progress went to to perpetrate this fraud. And I think there will be more charges to come in the future."

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