Earlier this week, the anti-abortion extremists behind altered videos attempting to smear Planned Parenthood found the tables turned when the grand jury investigating the health services provider indicted them on a charge of tampering with a governmental record, a felony, and on a misdemeanor charge related to purchasing human organs. The two men had selectively edited a secretly-taped video to make it appear that Planned Parenthood was selling dead baby parts for profit.
A grand jury here that was investigating accusations of misconduct against Planned Parenthood has instead indicted two abortion opponents who made undercover videos of the organization.
Prosecutors in Harris County said one of the leaders of the Center for Medical Progress — an anti-abortion group that made secretly recorded videos purporting to show Planned Parenthood officials trying to illegally profit from the sale of fetal tissue — had been indicted on a charge of tampering with a governmental record, a felony, and on a misdemeanor charge related to purchasing human organs.
That leader, David R. Daleiden, 27, the director of the center, had posed as a biotechnology representative to infiltrate Planned Parenthood affiliates and surreptitiously record his efforts to procure tissue for research. Another center employee, Sandra S. Merritt, 62, was indicted on a felony charge of tampering with a governmental record.
The record-tampering charges accused Mr. Daleiden and Ms. Merritt of making and presenting fake California driver’s licenses, with the intent to defraud, for their April meeting at Planned Parenthood in Houston.
The attorney for the two men said it was the action of a “runaway grand jury”. LOL.
In the wake of this unexpected development, Planned Parenthood is calling for an end to the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives which is headed up by House Speaker Paul Ryan. They aren’t alone. Democratic candidate for Michigan’s 8th Congressional District, Melissa Gilbert, did the same:
Michigan congressional candidate Melissa Gilbert (D, Howell) is calling upon Rep. Mike Bishop (R, Rochester) to end his Planned Parenthood investigation and “apologize to Michigan taxpayers.”
Gilbert said in a press release that Bishop is “wasting … time and money investigating Planned Parenthood based on heavily-edited videos.”
Bishop sits on the House Judiciary Committee which is also conducting an ongoing investigation of Planned Parenthood. Bishop himself has voted at least six times to entirely defund Planned Parenthood.
Meanwhile, back in Michigan, Republican Tom Hooker is still on a crusade of his own. Hooker may be best known for his effort to prevent teaching students how to use condoms which generated the best MLive headline of 2015: “Hooker wants Planned Parenthood, cucumbers out of sex education“. In that article, Hooker claimed that Planned Parenthood is using sex education classes to drum up business:
“There’s a perverse incentive for an organization like Planned Parenthood to get into the sex education business,” Hooker claimed. “It’s a conflict in that they give out or sell condoms, they offer pregnancy tests and (sexually-transmitted disease) testing and, obviously, if they’re pregnant they then would offer an abortion.
“It just seems like an awfully comfortable arrangement for Planned Parenthood to teach sex education.”
Given that sort of nonsensical, illogical thinking, it should come as no surprise that Republicans this week held a hearing on legislation that Hooker introduced last February to prohibit state funds from going to Planned Parenthood. It’s interesting legislation in that it is attempting to fix a problem that doesn’t actually exist. Planned Parenthood hasn’t received state funds in over 12 years.
Hooker is adamant that children only be taught abstinence because … well … let’s hear it from the man himself:
“Besides selling abortions, (Planned Parenthood) has given access to our children by teaching sex education in our schools,” he said. “As a health teacher who taught sex education, I taught abstinence only, and Planned Parenthood sells the lies that we’re all animals who can’t control themselves.”
Ann Arbor-area state Rep. Jeff Irwin issued an epic smack down to Hooker on the floor of the state House, telling him, “This is a public building, not a church. If your goal is to convince us that sexuality is bad, you’re in the wrong place.”
If you look at Hooker’s approach as a whole, you’d almost think he wants MORE unintended pregnancies, which lead to MORE abortions, rather than fewer. Abstinence-only education has been proven not to work and improper condom use leads to more pregnancies. Period.
It was a good week for women’s reproductive rights, especially in light of the U.S. Supreme Court refusing to hear a North Dakota case that would ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, typically at six weeks which is often before a woman even knows she’s pregnant. Mother Jones calls it “the country’s most extreme abortion ban.” The law was declared unconstitutional by a federal judge in July of last year.
I look forward to seeing David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt tried and convicted for their disgusting videos in the coming year.
And for more epic MLive headlines, too.