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Houston D.A. dismisses all charges against undercover Planned Parenthood videos creator

July 26th, 2016 / By: Keith Collier | Managing Editor / comments

Houston D.A. dismisses all charges against undercover Planned Parenthood videos creator

Pro-life activist David Daleiden (center), flanked by attorneys Peter Breen and Jared Woodfill, walks out of the Harris County Courthouse cleared of all charges against him over the purchase of baby parts from Planned Parenthood. Photo by Bonnie Pritchett

HOUSTON—Six weeks after a Houston judge dismissed misdemeanor charges of attempting to buy fetal tissue and human organs from Planned Parenthood, the Harris County District Attorney’s office dropped all charges Tuesday, July 26, including a felony charge, against David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt.

Daleiden and Merritt, leaders of The Center for Medical Progress (CMP), spearheaded a three-year undercover investigation into allegations that several Planned Parenthood abortion clinics sold fetal remains for a profit. CMP began releasing videos in 2015 to expose Planned Parenthood as profiting from the sale of fetal remains, and the videos went viral on social media along with the hashtag #PPsellsbabyparts.

The videos brought nationwide attention to Planned Parenthood and its abortion practices. In Texas, a Harris County grand jury conducted a two-month investigation of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast (PPGC), the initial target of CMP’s investigation, but no charges were filed. Instead, Daleiden and Merritt were charged Jan. 25, 2016, with a Class A misdemeanor for attempting to purchase human organs and a 2nd degree felony for tampering with a governmental record.

Abortion clinics are only allowed to recoup the cost of delivering fetal remains to research facilities. Daleiden and Merritt posed as procurement representatives for a fictitious medical research laboratory in order to gain access to PP abortion clinics in Texas and other states in an attempt to show the organization did more than break even on the transfer of fetal remains.

While the grand jury investigation of PPGC resulted in no charges against Planned Parenthood, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said at the time that the state would continue it’s investigation of the organization’s actions.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said, “The fact remains that the videos exposed the horrific nature of abortion and the shameful disregard for human life of the abortion industry. The state’s investigation of Planned Parenthood is ongoing.”