As you may be aware, David Daleiden of the Center for Medical Progress has been indicted (1/25/16) by a grand jury in Harris County, Texas, on charges of tampering with governmental records and violating the Texas statute on human organ trafficking for allegedly offering to buy fetal tissue. Sandra Merritt, who worked with Daleiden to investigate Planned Parenthood’s trade in fetal body parts, was also indicted on the tampering charge.
The tampering charge, which is a felony offense, is for the use of a California identification in order to enter the Planned Parenthood clinic for the purpose of investigation. It is the same charge that would be leveled at a minor who used a fake ID to purchase alcohol. However, the law also provides a defense where the false information has “no effect on the government’s purpose for requiring the governmental record.”
The charges filed against Daleiden and Merritt do not in any way diminish the overwhelming evidence obtained by the Center for Medical Progress showing that Planned Parenthood has engaged in and is more than willing to profit from the sale of fetal tissue.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott affirmed the commitment of the Attorney General’s office to further investigate Planned Parenthood’s activities, stating, “Nothing about today’s announcement in Harris County impacts the state’s ongoing investigation.”
The Center for Medical Progress issued the following statement: “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.”
Life Legal continues to coordinate with David’s attorney in Texas and remains committed to his defense in the lawsuits filed against him by the National Abortion Federation, StemExpress, and Planned Parenthood.