Here’s a piece of good news for your morning: the two abortion opponents who fabricated videos to suggest that Planned Parenthood sold fetal tissue for profit have been indicted by a grand jury. David R. Daleiden, 27, and Sandra S. Meritt, 62, were charged with tampering of governmental records, a felony, and a misdemeanor charge related to purchasing human organs.
Daleiden, who served as director of the Center for Medical Progress, an anti-abortion organization, posed as a biotechnology representative to speak to Planned Parenthood associates while secretly recording his efforts to acquire their fetal tissue. Both people are also charged with intent to defraud as they had fake licenses made to take to an April meeting with Planned Parenthood in Houston.
The pair released a secretly-taken, undercover video last year of that meeting in Houston that was found to be heavily edited. They posed as activists who wanted to buy human tissue for a biologics company. The video was intended to suggest that Planned Parenthood was illegally profiting from selling tissues harvested from abortions. The video went viral and became highly controversial, igniting fires under many a pro-life activist.
Rather than find evidence of any actual wrongdoing on Planned Parenthood’s part, the grand jury instead indicted Daleiden and Merritt. For its part, Planned Parenthood is pleased by the outcome.
“It affirms 100 percent what we have said from the very beginning, and that is that Planned Parenthood follows local, state and federal laws and extremely high medical standards, and our first priority is patient care,” says Rochelle Tafolla, who works with Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast. “These individuals broke the law and committed fraud in order to spread lies about Planned Parenthood and today they’re going to be held accountable for breaking those laws.”
The case’s outcome is good news for Planned Parenthood and the millions of people it continues to serve, despite Congress’ best efforts to remove it. There is no further word yet on Daleiden’s or Merritt’s official charges or expected sentences.