What should have been one of the biggest news stories of 2015 took an unexpected—and seemingly political–twist this past week. The undercover investigator responsible for exposing Planned Parenthood’s illegal harvesting and sale of body parts from unborn children has been indicted by a Texas grand jury for purchasing them.
According to LifeNews, David Daleiden and another pro-life activist, Sandra Merritt, were charged with a felony for allegedly using a fake ID during their undercover investigations of various Planned Parenthood affiliates, including PP Gulf Coast in Houston. The biggest slap-in-the-face: they were also charged with a misdemeanor for buying human tissue. Their videos were released throughout last year by the Center for Medical Progress, renewing calls for Washington lawmakers to de-fund the abortion giant.
However, to no one’s surprise, it appears that politics and revenge could be behind the grand jury’s move. After the indictment was announced, it came out that Lauren Reeder, a prosecutor for the Harris county District Attorney’s office, was also on the board of the Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast—the same office the journalists were investigating. Harris county DA Devon Anderson told Houston media that Reeder would “not be involved in any manner with this investigation”. By the way, Anderson also said the investigation into Planned Parenthood itself was closed.
So she indicts the whistle-blowers, but ends the investigation against Planned Parenthood. Daleiden is being charged with buying human tissue, but doesn’t there also have to be a seller? Since he wasn’t there to actually buy anything and was only posing as a party that wanted to buy something, how can charges be filed against them, but not Planned Parenthood? Sounds a little fishy.
In his own defense, Daleiden said he was only using an investigative tool that journalists have been using for decades while exercising their First Amendment rights. He stated, “Planned Parenthood still cannot deny the admissions from their leadership about fetal organ sales captured on video for all the world to see.”
Daleiden is understandably receiving much support from the pro-life community. Cheryl Sullenger, Senior VP of Operation Rescue expressed her disappointment about what such an indictment could mean for future investigations that expose crimes: “This has the effect of chilling the First Amendment freedom of the press”, said Sullenger, “and could scare crime witnesses away from coming forward for fear that they might suffer similar retaliatory prosecution.”
If you’ve watched any of the videos, it’s hard to not be horrified by what is going on inside Planned Parenthood clinics across the country. They claim to be advancing healthcare for women, but their big money is made on the backs of frightened women—mostly young, poor and Black…and their unborn children. Even though the district attorney in Houston has misapplied the rule of law and chosen to go after the messenger, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast is still under investigation by other agencies in the state of Texas. Pro-life groups have been asking state officials for an independent special prosecutor to be appointed for these investigations citing the obvious conflict of interest in the district attorney’s office.
The Center for Medical Progress will be holding an Emergency Briefing Webcast on Tuesday night at 9 pm Eastern (#IStandWithDavid).