While investigating allegations of misconduct against the nonprofit organization Planned Parenthood, a Texas grand jury has instead indicted two anti-abortion activists who had secretly shot videos of the organization, the Associated Press reported Monday. David Daleiden, director of the Center of Medical Progress, has been indicted on a felony charge of tampering with governmental records and a misdemeanor count related to purchasing human organs, along with Sandra Meritt, an employee of the center, who was indicted on a charge of tampering with governmental records.
“We were called upon to investigate allegations of criminal conduct by Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, said Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson, the New York Times reported. “As I stated at the outset of this investigation, we must go where the evidence leads us. All the evidence uncovered in the course of this investigation was presented to the grand jury. I respect their decision on this difficult case.”
The Center for Medical Progress, an anti-abortion group, had secretly shot the videos of Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of aborted fetuses for research, igniting heavy criticism against the organization from anti-abortion activists. Last summer, Republicans in Congress attempted to cut off funding for the organization.
"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," said spokeswoman Rochelle Tafolla of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, ABC News reported.
The grand jury has reportedly cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing.