Texas Grand Jury Indicts Planned Parenthood Accusers

A Harris County grand jury investigating accusations of criminal misconduct by Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast has resulted in an indictment against their accusers instead for tampering with a government record, according to a news report.

The Harris County District Attorney’s office said that Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast has been cleared of any wrongdoing. However, the two people who made secret recordings of the group that were made public — David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt with the Center for Medical Progress — have been charged with tampering with a government record, a second-degree felony. In addition, Daleiden has been charged with prohibition of the purchase and sale of human organs, a class A misdemeanor.

Last summer, the Center for Medical Progress released videos that depicted Planned Parenthood officials talking about fetal tissue. The videos contained discussions that made it appear the organization profited from the sale of fetal tissue. Planned Parenthood contends that it only recovers its costs and does not profit from fetal tissue sales. After the videos aired, Planned Parenthood announced that it would no longer seek reimbursement.

According to court records, the videos were edited to include footage that Daleiden found on the Internet of a stillborn child with narration that made it appear the images depicted a Planned Parenthood abortion.

Planned Parenthood has filed a lawsuit against the Center for Medical Progress, accusing the group of concealing their true identities, illegal secret recording, and invasion of privacy as well as wire and mail fraud.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott released a statement saying that the Harris County grand jury decision would not impact the state’s ongoing investigation into Texas Planned Parenthood.

Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson said in a statement, “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 Cogdell Law Firm is a boutique law firm focusing on large, complex business and criminal financial-related litigation, including white collar criminal defense, securities fraud, health care fraud investigation, criminal appeals and state criminal defense. When results matter most, contact Dan Cogdell at (713) 426-2244 or dan@cogdell-law.com.