Planned Parenthood plot twist: 10 things to know about who was indicted

Two anti-abortion activists and leaders of the Center for Medical Progress who made undercover videos of Planned Parenthood were indicted by a grand jury in Houston on felony and misdemeanor charges, according to The New York Times.

Here are 10 things to know about the case.

1. David Daleiden, director of the CMP, was indicted on a felony charge for tampering with a governmental record and a misdemeanor charge for attempting to purchase human organs, according to the report. Mr. Daleiden is 27 years old. He posed as a biotechnology representative using a fake driver's license to secretly record Planned Parenthood affiliates as he attempted to purchase fetal tissue.

2. Another CMP employee, 62-year-old Sandra Merritt, was indicted on a felony charge for tampering with a governmental record by making fake IDs, according to the report.

3. The group released videos in July that made it seem as if Planned Parenthood was illegally selling fetal tissue. A statement from Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson said grand jurors cleared Planned Parenthood's name, according to the report. Investigations in multiple states have not found evidence of wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood.

4. A CMP statement from Mr. Daleiden says the group used journalistic techniques to obtain the video footage: "The Center for Medical Progress uses the same undercover techniques that investigative journalists have used for decades in exercising our First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and of the press, and follows all applicable laws. We respect the processes of the Harris County district attorney, and note that buying fetal tissue requires a seller as well. Planned Parenthood still cannot deny the admissions from their leadership about fetal organ sales captured on video for all the world to see."

5. Specifically, Mr. Daleiden and others from CMP set up a fake company called Biomax Procurement Services, a provider of fetal tissue to researchers. Under this company, Mr. Daleiden and Ms. Merritt went to Planned Parenthood to discuss fetal tissue transfer, according to The New York Times.

6. Planned Parenthood maintains the fees discussed were legal, according to the report. They were to cover costs, not profit.

7. Mr. Dalieden and Ms. Merritt used their photos to create fake California IDs. Mr. Daleiden posed as Robert Sarkis and Ms. Merritt went by Susan Sarah Tennenbaum, according to the report. For this charge, warrants were issued for both Mr. Dalieden and Ms. Merritt's arrest with bonds of $10,000, according to the report.

8. Mr. Daleiden sent an email in June to Planned Parenthood with an offer to buy fetal tissue. The offering price was $1,600 per sample, according to the report. Josh Schaffer, a lawyer for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, told The New York Times this is likely the source of the misdemeanor charge. Planned Parenthood did not reply to the email, according to the report.

9. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) released a statement ensuring the state's Health and Human Service Commission's Inspector General and the Attorney General still have an open and ongoing investigation into Planned Parenthood. "Nothing about today's announcement in Harris County impacts the state's ongoing investigation. The State of Texas will continue to protect life, and I will continue to support legislation prohibiting the sale or transfer of fetal tissue."

10. Planned Parenthood said in a statement the videos were an attempt to advance the CMP agenda. "As the dust settles and the truth comes out, it's become totally clear that the only people who engaged in wrongdoing are the criminals behind this fraud, and we're glad they're being held accountable," the statement reads. The group filed a federal lawsuit earlier this month.

 

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