Two anti-abortion activists get felony charges for secretly filming at Planned Parenthood
Two anti-abortion activists who secretly filmed themselves trying to procure fetal tissue from Planned Parenthood and published deceptive videos face 15 felony charges in California.
The charges include 14 counts for the 14 people they filmed without consent and one count of criminal conspiracy to invade privacy.
In their edited videos, which were filmed at Planned Parenthood locations in Los Angeles, Pasadena, San Francisco ,and El Dorado between October 2013 and July 2015, David Daleiden, 28, and Sandra Merritt, 63, tried to claim that Planned Parenthood was selling aborted fetal tissue, according to the charging documents. The video sparked controversial investigations into Planned Parenthood, which drew support from presidential candidates like former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.
However, no evidence was ever found. One investigation in Texas was even turned on its head, and Daleiden and Merritt were indicted with tampering with government records. Daleiden was also indicted for attempting to purchase and sell human organs, according to The New York Times. Those charges were later dismissed by a grand jury.
“The right to privacy is a cornerstone of California’s Constitution, and a right that is foundational in a free democratic society,” State Attorney General Becerra said in a statement. “We will not tolerate the criminal recording of confidential conversations.”
Daleiden published a statement through his organization, the Center for Medical Progress, stating that “The bogus charges from Planned Parenthood’s political cronies are fake news.”
“We look forward to showing the entire world what is on our yet-unreleased video tapes of Planned Parenthood’s criminal baby body parts enterprise, in vindication of the First Amendment rights of all,” said Daleiden.