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Texas Grand Jury Indicted Pro-Life Activists but Failed to Vote on Criminal Charges for Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood
A member of the New York Police Department stands outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in the Manhattan borough of New York, November 28, 2015. |

The Texas grand jury responsible for investigating allegations that a Houston Planned Parenthood clinic used illegal practices to harvest aborted babies for profit and instead indicted the pro-life activists behind the undercover Planned Parenthood videos, never voted on issuing criminal charges against Planned Parenthood officials.

After the Center for Medical Progress released its undercover Planned Parenthood videos last year, which were the result of a 30-month investigation behind the aborted baby selling practices of Planned Parenthood clinics in Texas, California and Colorado, the state of Texas announced that it would investigate the abortion clinic's practices.

Despite the claim that an investigation was being conducted on the Planned Parenthood clinic by a grand jury in Harris County, it was CMP investigator and founder David Daleiden and one of his associates, Sandra Merritt, who wound up indicted with felony charges of tampering with governmental records (showing Planned Parenthood officials fake driver's licenses).

David Daleiden
David Daleiden, head of the California-based pro-life group the Center for Medical Progress. |

As the felony charges are punishable by up to 20 years in prison, Daleiden was also indicted with a misdemeanor charge related to trying to purchase aborted babies' organs, which Planned Parenthood harvests, as part of the investigation. 

In an article published by The Associated Press on Wednesday, Planned Parenthood lawyer Josh Schaffer explained that he was told by a Harris County prosecutor that the Harris County Grand Jury never bothered to vote on whether to issue indictments for officials implicated by the Center for Medical Progress' undercover video.

"Planned Parenthood attorney Josh Schaffer said a prosecutor told him the grand jury never even voted on possible criminal charges against the nation's largest abortion provider," the AP article states.

Officials who work for the pro-life organization Operation Rescue, which had a negative experience with a Harris County grand jury and Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson in 2013 when their late-term abortion photo allegations against Houston abortion doctor Douglas Karpen didn't lead to an indictment, question whether an real investigation into Planned Parenthood's compensation practices even took place.

"No vote means no investigation," Cheryl Sullenger, senior vice president of Operation Rescue, said in a statement posted online. "The people are entitled to an unbiased investigation into the serious allegations of illegal conduct by Planned Parenthood. That does not appear to have happened."

Since Karpen's lawyer, Chip Lewis, has good connections with Anderson, as Anderson is one of the beneficiaries of Lewis' political donations, Sullenger claims that this could have led to a bias in the district attorney's office. Sullenger also claims that part of the bias is due to the face that Troy Newman, the activist behind the 2013 allegations against Karpen, is also a founding member of CMP.

"Because of Newman's position on the CMP Board, I believe Lewis viewed the Planned Parenthood grand jury as an opportunity for revenge," Sullenger argues. "Both the district attorney and the grand jury prosecutor were unduly influenced by Lewis' hatred of Operation Rescue."

"Anderson said that she would let the evidence take her where it would, and we say the evidence reveals an agenda in the district attorney's office, under the influence of Chip Lewis, to get even with pro-life whistleblowers who have reported evidence against abortion providers of serious crimes, including murder," Sullenger continued. "In order for there to be justice, we need to stop dipping from a poisoned well and seek unbiased people to push forward with investigations against the real culprits."

Daleiden's lawyer, Peter Breen of the Thomas Moore Society, told LifeSiteNews that the charges against his client are completely "baseless."

"We believe that the charges are baseless," Breen said. "It is our understanding that at any time the district attorney can move that these charges be dismissed, and we respectfully urge that they should be."

"How can anyone claim that David Daleiden tried to buy baby body parts for profit without agreeing that Planned Parenthood was willing to sell baby body parts for profit?" Breen asked. "David's purpose was to bring light to an illegal and disgusting practice of the abortion industry, and he's done so."

Follow Samuel Smith on Twitter: @IamSamSmith

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