Big News Network.com
Tuesday 26th January, 2016
HOUSTON, Texas The grand jury investigating criminal misconduct allegation against Planned Parenthood Monday instead indicted two anti-abortion activists who shot a series of undercover videos of the organization that actually led to the probe against the abortion provider.
The jury declined to indict Planned Parenthood officials who shown in the dramatic videos discussing practices banned by law as Center for Medical Progress employees posed as prospective buyers of fetal tissue.
Planned Parenthood has claimed selective editing had created a misperception soon after the videos were released online last year.
The jury handed up felony charges of tampering with a government record against Center for Medical Progress founder David Daleiden and center employee Sandra Merritt. Daleidon was also charged with a misdemeanor count related to purchasing human organs.
"We were called upon to investigate allegations of criminal conduct by Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast," Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson said.
"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."
The grand jury cleared Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast of any wrongdoing.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott however stressed that the inspector general of the state’s Health and Human Services Commission and the Texas attorney general’s office would continue to investigate Planned Parenthood’s actions.
"Nothing about today’s announcement in Harris County impacts the state’s ongoing investigation," Abbott said in a statement. "The State of Texas will continue to protect life, and I will continue to support legislation prohibiting the sale or transfer of fetal tissue."
The videos collectively stretching more than 10 hours have also been talked about in Republican presidential debates.
Carly Fiorina, a Republican presidential hopeful, described her memory of a scene as "a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain."
Abortion advocates applauded the grand jury decision.
"As we’ve known all along, David Daleiden is the one who broke the law, not abortion providers," Vicki Saporta, president of the National Abortion Federation, said in a statement.
"In order to launch his smear campaign, Daleiden engaged in a long-running illegal conspiracy and he should be held accountable for his actions, which have put abortion providers at risk."