Center for Medical Progress responds to indictment

by Lynde Langdon
Posted 1/25/16, 08:10 pm

UPDATE: The Center for Medical Progress (CMP) released a statement this evening responding to the charges brought by a Harris County, Texas, grand jury against pro-life activist David Daleiden today:

“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.”

The statement referenced a Class A misdemeanor charge against Daleiden for violating the prohibition against buying and selling human tissue. The charges imply the grand jury thought Daleiden crossed a legal line with his attempts to expose Planned Parenthood for selling aborted baby body parts. The grand jury convened to investigate Planned Parenthood, but did not level any charges against the abortion giant.

OUR EARLIER REPORT (5:35 p.m.): A Houston grand jury has indicted the Center for Medical Progress’ David Daleiden for his undercover reporting that exposed Planned Parenthood’s aborted baby body parts business.

The Houston Chronicle reported that Daleiden and his colleague at the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), Sandra Merritt, were charged with tampering with a government document. In a lawsuit against the Center for Medical Progress, Planned Parenthood accused Daleiden of using fake IDs to gain access to abortionists and their staffs.

Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson convened the grand jury to investigate potential criminal activity by Planned Parenthood.  In undercover footage released by CMP, Melissa Ferrell, director of research for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast in Houston, indicated that the affiliate’s abortionists would willingly alter abortion procedures so tissue buyers could procure intact specimens—whole babies. But the higher quality parts would require a higher price. The higher price could be explained as “additional time cost, administrative burden,” Ferrell said.

The grand jury looked at the evidence against Planned Parenthood, Anderson said, but ended up charging Daleiden and Merritt.

“As I stated at the outset of this investigation, we must go where the evidence leads us,” Anderson said, according to the Chronicle. “All the evidence uncovered in the course of this investigation was presented to the grand jury. I respect their decision on this difficult case.”

Daleiden so far has been undeterred from his crusade against Planned Parenthood and its abortion business by legal threats. After Planned Parenthood filed suit against CMP earlier this month, Daleiden wrote this response on CMP’s Facebook page: “GAME ON, PLANNED PARENTHOOD!!! I look forward to taking your depositions.”

Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital assistant editor and reports on popular and fine arts. She lives in Wichita, Kan., with her husband and two daughters. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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