The Pair Behind Those Planned Parenthood "Sting" Videos Has Been Indicted

Update: On Monday, a grand jury in Texas indicted two anti-abortion activists behind falsified "sting" videos that sparked a probe into Planned Parenthood's practices, reports The Houston Chronicle.

The Harris County grand jury cleared Planned Parenthood of wrongdoing, and instead indicted secret videographers David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt on charges of tampering with a government record. That charge is a second-degree felony that carries a punishment of up to 20 years in prison.

Daleiden received an additional misdemeanor indictment under the law prohibiting the purchase and sale of human organs.

Rochelle Tafolla, a spokeswoman for the Houston branch of Planned Parenthood, told The Houston Chronicle that the news made the organization feel "vindicated."

"It's great news because it demonstrates what we have said from the very beginning, which is that Planned Parenthood is following every rule and regulation, and that these people came into our buildings under the guise of health when their true intentions were to spread lies," said Tafolla.
Multiple states launched investigations into Planned Parenthood's medical practices in the wake of the Center for Medical Progress videos. None of the investigations uncovered any wrongdoing.
This story was originally published on January 14, 2016.

Planned Parenthood announced on Thursday that it has filed a lawsuit against the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), the anti-abortion activist group behind last summer’s falsified fetal "sting" videos.
Planned Parenthood tweeted the news with a graphic stating that the organization is suing the CMP for, among other things: wire fraud, mail fraud, invasion of privacy, and violating the federal RICO Act. The image concludes with the statement, “Center for Medical Progress: We’ll see you in court.”

CMP is the group responsible for this past summer’s “sting” videos that purported to show officials admitting that Planned Parenthood sold fetal tissue. The videos, which were later proven to be heavily and misleadingly edited, resulted in a renewed effort by abortion opponents to defund the organization. In September of last year, Planned Parenthood's president, Cecile Richards, went in front of Congress to defend the organization against the attacks. She tweeted in support of the lawsuit.

Planned Parenthood is not the only group to file suit against CMP. In July, the National Abortion Federation also filed a lawsuit, asking for additional punitive damages for CMP's violation of the safety of abortion providers by releasing their personal information.
In a statement released to the press, Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, spoke of the effects of the videos and what's to come. “The people behind this fraud lied and broke the law in order to spread malicious lies about Planned Parenthood,” she said. “This lawsuit exposes the elaborate, illegal conspiracy designed to block women’s access to safe and legal abortion, and we filed the case to hold them accountable.”


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