An unexpected twist in the Planned Parenthood video case

An anti-abortion group known as the Center for Medical Progress went undercover to secretly record and expose what they claimed were illegal practices by Planned Parenthood, and then released a highly edited video that was used by many people, most notably Carly Fiorina, to allege that they trafficked in baby parts for profit. Various government agencies, often at the instigation of Republican politicians at the state and federal level, investigated the allegations and found that PP had acted in conformity with the law.

In Texas, a grand jury was convened for this same purpose by a Republican district attorney but rather than issue an indictment on PP, they instead indicted David Daleiden, the president of CMP, and another employee Sandra Merritt with a “felony charge of tampering with a governmental record and a misdemeanor count related to buying human tissue”, and issued warrants for their arrest. The felony count involving governmental records was based on the fact that the two created false California driver’s licenses and can lead anywhere from two to twenty years in jail. Asking to buy fetal tissue is a misdemeanor that carries a penalty of up to one year in jail

This unexpected turnaround has caused howls of outrage from the right wing and on Fox News as their witch hunt suddenly boomeranged on them. The fact that the district attorney was a Republican seems to have upset them the most.

Adam Harris for the independent investigative journalism outfit ProPublica provides a helpful collection of links that provides background to this complicated story as it unfolded.

planned parenthood


  1. says

    “Breathtaking inanity.” -- Judge John E. Jones, republican, on creationist arguments in the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial.

    In both cases, Jones in Pennsylvania and Anderson in Texas, education has trumped ideology. Twice people have put aside personal biases and made their decisions based solely on the facts.

    And twice, the poorly educated have bristled at the decision because they didn’t get their way. It’s especially hurtful to them because they can’t grasp why they didn’t get their way.

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