Leaders Behind Planned Parenthood Videos Are Indicted

Grand jury finds no wrongdoing by abortion provider
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 25, 2016 5:35 PM CST
Hundreds of demonstrators gather outside the governor's mansion in St. Paul, Minn., Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015, in a protest calling for Governor Mark Dayton to defund and investigate Planned Parenthood.   (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

(Newser) – A Houston grand jury investigating undercover footage of Planned Parenthood found no wrongdoing Monday by the abortion provider but instead indicted anti-abortion activists involved in making the videos that provoked outrage among Republican leaders nationwide, the AP reports. David Daleiden, founder of the Center for Medical Progress, was indicted on a felony charge of tampering with a governmental record and a misdemeanor count related to purchasing human organs. Another activist, Sandra Merritt, was also indicted on a charge of tampering with a governmental record. Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson didn't specify what record or records were allegedly tampered with in a statement announcing the indictment.

"We were called upon to investigate allegations of criminal conduct by Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast," Anderson says. "As I stated at the outset of this investigation, we must go where the evidence leads us." The Center for Medical Progress is the anti-abortion group that released covertly shot videos of Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of aborted fetuses for research. A phone message left with the group wasn't immediately returned. Planned Parenthood officials swiftly hailed the indictment as just. "This is absolutely great news because it is a demonstration of what Planned Parenthood has said from the very beginning, we follow every law and regulation and these anti-abortion activists broke multiple laws to try and spread lies," says spokeswoman Rochelle Tafolla of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast. (Read more Planned Parenthood stories.)

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