Washington, DC --- Today, a Houston grand jury indicted David Daleiden, the founder and self-proclaimed leader of the anti-abortion group called the Center for Medical Progress, on criminal charges, including one felony charge. The grand jury also cleared Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast of all wrongdoing.
Quote from Eric Ferrero, Vice President of Communications for Planned Parenthood Federation of America
“These anti-abortion extremists spent three years creating a fake company, creating fake identities, lying, and breaking the law. When they couldn’t find any improper or illegal activity, they made it up.
"These people broke the law to spread malicious lies about Planned Parenthood in order to advance their extreme anti-abortion political 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."
Earlier this month, Planned Parenthood filed a federal lawsuit against Daleiden and a number of other anti-abortion extremists, alleging they had engaged in an elaborate, illegal conspiracy in order to block women’s access to safe and legal abortion.
In addition to Harris County, officials in eleven states (Kansas, Florida, Ohio, Washington, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri and South Dakota) have concluded investigations into claims that Planned Parenthood profited from fetal tissue donation and each one has cleared Planned Parenthood of wrongdoing.
Officials in eight states (California, Iowa, Delaware,Idaho, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Virginia, and Colorado) have declined to even investigate citing a lack of any evidence to suggest wrongdoing.
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The Hill: Creator of Planned Parenthood videos indicted in Texas
“A grand jury that extensively reviewed undercover videos of Planned Parenthood decided not to press charges against the group, and will instead take action against the creators of the videos.”
ABC 13 (Houston): Grand Jury Won’t Take Action Against Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast
“The grand jury studied the case alleging misconduct by Planned Parenthood for more than two months and decided that no laws were broken. However indictments were handed down for two people involved in making allegations against Planned Parenthood.”
“David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt have both been indicted by the grand jury for Tampering with a Governmental Record. An additional indictment for Prohibition of the Purchase and Sale of Human Organs has been issued for Daleiden”
Dallas Morning News: After Lengthy Investigation Grand Jury Decides to Take No Action Against Planned Parenthood. Two Others Indicted.
“‘David Daleiden, president of the undercover anti-abortion group The Center for Medical Progress, and Sandra Merritt, who was named as the founder and CEO of BioMax, the sham tissue procurement company created by the Center, were indicted for ‘tampering with a governmental record,’ a second degree felony. Daleiden was handed an additional indictment for ‘prohibition of the purchase and sale of human organs,’ a Class A misdemeanor.”
Associated Press: Grand jury indicts leader behind Planned Parenthood videos nationwide
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With over 650 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433
January 25, 2016