Anti abortionists indicted in Planned Parenthood hoax


AUSTIN, Texas — A Houston grand jury investigating undercover footage of Planned Parenthood found no wrongdoing Monday by the abortion provider and instead indicted anti-abortion activists involved in making the videos that provoked outrage among Republican leaders nationwide.

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. It’s the first time anyone in the group has been charged criminally since the videos started surfacing last year.

In a statement announcing the indictment, Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson didn’t provide details on the charges, including what record or records were allegedly tampered with and why Daleiden faces a charge related to buying human organs. Anderson’s office said it could not provide details until the documents charging Daleiden and Merritt were formally made public, which was expected later Monday.

“We were called upon to investigate allegations of criminal conduct by Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast,” Anderson’s statement said. “As I stated at the outset of this investigation, we must go where the evidence leads us.”

The anti-abortion Center for Medical Progress has released several covertly shot videos of Planned Parenthood officials discussing the handling of fetal tissue from abortions. The center claims that Planned Parenthood illegally sold fetal tissue; Planned Parenthood officials have denied any wrongdoing and have said the videos were misleadingly edited.

It seems like the grand jury agreed with Planned Parenthood.  Sometimes people get so wrapped up in what they believe that they justify altering facts and the truth.  Apparently this is what happened here.


Too many anti-abortion politicians hung their hats on Planned Parenthood being in the wrong.  Now they look like fools.

I feel a wonderful sense of vindication.  There is nothing like some zealot trying to make the other person look bad using questionable means and then the zealot getting in trouble.  Serves him right.

I don’t doubt David Daleiden’s sincerity in hating abortion, for whatever reason.  He is free to feel how he wants.  What he isn’t entitled to do is lie and falsify information about other people.  I hope the felony sticks.

38 Thoughts to “Anti abortionists indicted in Planned Parenthood hoax”

  1. Wolve

    Sad. But not unexpected, being Harris County (Houston). Maybe that PP employee will be able to get her Lamborghini after all.

    1. I feel certain that was part of the splicing of video. Joke!!!

  2. Emma

    I’m glad that Planned Parenthood is so flush with cash that it can afford to sue to protect its business model. I was worried about the future of all of those screening mammograms they used to tell us they were providing.@Wolve

    1. I don’t recall anything about mammograms at PP. I think they just gave referrals.

      I can tell you where a lot of the money came from for lawsuits–from the supporters of Planned Parenthood. I have written a few checks myself.

  3. Wolve

    Texas Attorney General still has an investigation going of Planned Parenthood and the sale of body parts. Not out of the woods yet. Deleiden and Merritt were just the proverbial ham sandwiches in Houston.

    1. Whatever that means. What are you going to do about the criminal charges?

      Do you think Planned Parenthood was selling body parts? Why?

      Do you think its ok to break the law if you are catching who YOU perceive to be lawbreakers?

  4. Pat.Herve

    Here’s the breakdown from PP’s annual report on services provided:

    Abortions: 327,653
    Sexually transmitted infection/disease testing and treatment: 4,470,597
    Contraception: 3,577,348
    Cancer screening and prevention: 935,573
    Pregnancy tests: 1,128,783
    Prenatal services: 18,684
    Family practice services: 65,464
    Adoption referrals: 1,880
    Urinary tract infection treatments: 47,264
    Other: 17,187

    97% of their business is non abortion.

    Mammograms – yes, few mammograms as PP performs breast screenings and refers mammograms to clinics where it is more cost effective. Very few PP clinics provide mammograms, as them do not have radiology systems.

    David is the one who was trying to buy body parts and the non-doctored video does not show PP as being the ones providing part for sale. Sad when one needs to twist the truth to try and get a story going.

  5. Jackson Bills

    Just an FYI… One of the prosecutors in the DAs office handling this case has been a Planned Parenthood board member and major fund raised since 2013.

    1. Was the prosecutor seated on the grand jury? No? Then STFW. It really doesn’t matter.

  6. Jackson Bills

    It could prvovide ammo for the request for a special prosecutor in the case so it may matter. We will see…

  7. Jackson Bills

    “Too many anti-abortion politicians hung their hats on Planned Parenthood being in the wrong. Now they look like fools.”

    They look like fools now? How so? There is still an open investigation into PP.

    1. With the person who did the filming charged with a felony. I guess he is now the martyr. What an ass-hat.

  8. After doing a little more reading on this case I am not so sure this is a good thing for PP, it could be a catch-22. The discovery phase may expose some things that may hurt PP’s public image. I could be wrong but that is just my opinion.

  9. BSinVA

    You are wrong.

  10. @BSinVA
    I didn’t realize that the discovery phase had already concluded. You must have some excellent sources.

  11. Scout

    There seems to be a fair amount of confusion among some of the commenters as to what happened here. I may be among the confused. Some of the folks (Emma and Jackson) seem to be talking about a civil suit by PP against the hoaxsters. The post was about a criminal case brought against the hoaxsters by the State. The criminal violations alleged relate to fraud and falsification of IDs.

    @ Jackson: are you sure that the prosecutor is on the Board of PP? If so, I would think he/she would either voluntarily or simply because he feared ethical violations step aside. I have no idea whether you’re right or not about that, but it has the aroma of one of those nasty rumors that people spread around without validation in order to put a bit of favorable spin on an uncomfortable story. Perhaps a link to an authoritative source would help.

  12. Wolve


    97% of PP business is non-abortion? Great! Just end the 3% abortion and everything will be fine for PP as they serve the health needs of women. No problem from this quarter for helping out with some government grants for that 97%. Problem solved.

    10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1- Moon incoming!!!!!

    1. haha….I don’t mandate that Planned Parenthood provide abortion. Seriously. I am more comfortable knowing that they are doing it however.

      Let’s put it this way. Planned Parenthood has a decent reputation as an abortion provider, compared to some clinics that are out there without the sake of having a nationally known name. in

      Actually, your comment doesn’t upset me. I think it is only smart that people who oppose abortion do all they can to support groups who provide contraception and other services related to family planning.

      The very best way to end abortion is to end unwanted pregnancy.

  13. Wolve

    Linda Reeder, Assistant DA in the Harris County DA Office, works in the criminal family law division. She has been an uncompensated member of the PP Board of Directors since 2013 and Chair of the PP Young Leaders organization (donors and donations) since 2009. (Sources: Linda Reeder’s LinkedIn page; the Houston Chronicle; and the PP Gulf Coast 990 Tax Form for 2014)

    The Harris County DA told the Houston Chronicle that their case is finished and will not be revived unless something more comes up to cause them to take further action. She [denied] STATED [ed. note: corrected]that Asst. DA Reeder was never involved in this case and will not be involved if the case is ever revived.

    1. Thank you for this information. I tried to correct it per your specs. Hopefully I was successful

  14. Wolve

    #18. The edit didn’t work this time. Change “denied” to “stated.”

    1. I tried to fix it for you.

  15. Starryflights

    Good call by the Texas grand jury. Hope somebody goes to jail and loses his pants in the lawsuit.

  16. Wolve

    Interesting twist here. The Harris County DA and the prosecutor in this case was Devon Anderson. Reportedly “conservative Republican” and pro-life. I repeat: “Pro-life.” Originally appointed by former Governor Rick Perry to fulfill the term of her husband, who had died. The only major Republican official amidst a sea of Dem liberals in Harris County. Former judge and defense attorney. She has earned a reputation for being very hard on criminals and working well with the police.

    At least, so says the New York Times.

    Anderson seems to have implied that she simply presented the available evidence and let the grand jury have its head.

    1. That’s how it should be…regardless of politics. Here is Prince William, our Democratic commonwealth attorney was selected by then Attorney General Ashcroft to try the beltway sniper, Mohammad whatever his name was. Why? Ashcroft knew Paul was no nonsense and would get a conviction. He did. Mohammad is long gone. Fried. I shed no tears.

    2. You bring up an interesting point. I think politics should be totally out of criminal cases. Fact should be facts. Same with schools. Somewhere in all of this, common sense should prevail.

      I also don’t believe in breaking the law to fix a social issue. You can’t throw dye on people wearing fur or bomb Escolades because they use too much case. you can’t shoot abortion doctors. You cant jail break people who have been wrongly convicted.

  17. Scout

    Thanks, Wolve. That was my question to Jackson. Did the PP Board member/prosecutor (Linda Reeder, from info in your comment # 19) present this case? From your comment #24, the answer appears to be no. The normal, correct thing happened. Jackson’s comment (#8) and your follow-up in #19) might leave an impression with hasty readers that the prosecution was conducted by a Planned Parenthood partisan.

    1. So someone was trying to make something out of nothing with Reeder. She didnt even work in that division. Why am I not surprised.

      On the other hand, is not exactly a neutral commentator on this issue. In fact, it would be about like me quoting NARAL on this subject. Birds of a feather and all.

    2. I would probably be considered a Planned Parenthood activist also. I have given them money and probably held up a sign or two, back in the day. I am sure I have an old, dusty NOW round stored away somewhere, even though I have never been a member of the National Organization of Women.

  18. Cargosquid

    Actually, HotAir reported that the attorney isn’t involved. They were pretty neutral in reporting the connections.

    1. Facts are facts. She wasnt connected. However, I can tell from reading that they have a strong opinion.

      (think you could spot bias in a 2A article, pro or con? I am betting you can.)

  19. Wolve

    Corrected name of Harris County Assistant DA: Lauren Reeder. Sorry about that.

  20. Scout

    The comments about the Assistant prosecutor who wasn’t involved in this case are a useful example of something that happens all over the blogosphere a million times a day. Jackson, his comment # 8 puts up the falsehood that “one of the prosecutors handling the case . . .” had been a PP board member. I doubt that Jackson knew it was false when he put it up. He just didn’t check and didn’t care. He didn’t think about whether that was even a likely thing to have happened given ethics rules not only of the Bar, but most likely within any DA’s office. So he just propagated it because it fit his ideological sense of what goes on in the world. We can readily imagine how many other people read that somewhere and just blithely posted or commented it onward. One of the problems is how vulnerable to credulity this medium has become (one has to believe that without the blogosphere things like the Obama birther movement couldn’t have existed). Of course, the deeper problem is the first person to put out the anti-factoid – he/she must have know it was false and did so not only to con the Jacksons of the world, but maliciously and dishonestly to put forward an anti-reality version of events that would shape the zeitgeist on this issue.

    There’s probably nothing for it but for people to think when they read, to ask themselves “is this really likely”, to look to multiple sources, and to bring a little skepticism to the party.

    1. What a very relevant post, Scout. You are right, this medium is particularly susceptible to false information taking on a life of its own and become false-fact in everyone’s mind. We saw that with Carly who now says it was a different video.

      I try to check out things before I post them, especially in articles, but I get caught up also sometimes.

  21. Cargosquid

    I didn’t claim that there wasn’t bias.
    I stated that it was pretty fair.

  22. Ed Myers

    Scout, the originator may have created satire for the amusement of one political faction but it was co-opted as truth by others who missed the nuance. Perhaps we need a “satire” font so those who cut and paste propagate the original author’s intent.

  23. Scout

    I don’t think satire had anything to do with this one, Ed. You are right that there are many of our fellow citizens so lacking in the discernment category that some have been known to repeat satire as fact, but I don’t get the feeling that was at work here. This was just plain calculated deflection to take the sting out of what, for some people, was an unwelcome story.

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