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Planned Parenthood Video Case Charges Tossed

Image: Planned Parenthood Video Case Charges Tossed

David Daleiden speaks with supporters outside courthouse in Houston. (James Nielsen/Houston Chronicle via AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 27 Jul 2016 06:37 AM

Planned Parenthood video case charges against the two main investigators were tossed on Tuesday just before a court hearing looking into the legitimacy of the indictment, reported the Houston Chronicle.

David Robert Daleiden, 27, and Sandra Merritt, 62, said they were happy with the decision by Harris County prosecutors in Houston to dismiss the charges. A county grand jury had indicted them in January of tampering with a government record for allegedly using fake driver licenses to conceal their identities while involved in their recording at a Houston Planned Parenthood clinic.

Last month a Harris County criminal court at law judge dismissed a misdemeanor count against Daleiden related to purchasing human organs, ruling that the indictment was flawed.

The pair were part of the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress, whose undercover videos targeted Planned Parenthood clinics from the around the country for allegedly selling fetal tissue, a federal violation, noted the Chronicle.

"The dismissal of the bogus, politically motivated charges against (Center for Medical Progress) project lead David Daleiden and investigator Sandra Merritt is a resounding vindication of the First Amendment rights of all citizen journalists, and also a clear warning to any of Planned Parenthood's political cronies who would attack whistle blowers to protect Planned Parenthood from scrutiny," the Center for Medical Progress said on Tuesday.

"Planned Parenthood tried to collude with public officials to manipulate the legal process to their own benefit, and they failed. A year after release of the undercover videos, the ongoing nationwide investigation of Planned Parenthood by the House Select Investigative Panel makes clear that Planned Parenthood is the guilty party in the harvesting and trafficking of baby body parts for profit." 

The videos sparked a Congressional hearing and investigations by several states this year. Investigations in Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Washington state led to no indictments against Planned Parenthood, according to National Public Radio.

California, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Virginia opted not to open investigations into the videos' allegations.

NPR said earlier this year that while the Harris County grand jury cleared Planned Parenthood, the Texas attorney general's office was continuing its investigation, along with inquires by officials in Arizona and Louisiana.

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Planned Parenthood video case charges against the two main investigators were tossed on Tuesday just before a court hearing looking into the legitimacy of the indictment.
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2016-37-27
Wednesday, 27 Jul 2016 06:37 AM
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