Filmmakers Behind Anti-Planned Parenthood Videos Face Charges; Health Organization Cleared From Allegations
Jan 26, 2016 02:45 AM EST
A Texas grand jury has charged the filmmakers behind an anti-Planned Parenthood video. The Planned Parenthood has also been cleared of the video makers' accusations that they are selling body parts from aborted fetuses for their own profit.
According to BBC, the grand jury has charged the filmmakers with tampering with government records. The filmmakers who are from the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) reportedly filmed the videos secretly in an attempt to withdraw the federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
The videos that were secretly filmed were reportedly made by the CMP members as well as their founder, David Daleiden, after they posed as medical researchers. They then discussed buying the body parts of the aborted fetuses with the health organization's staff. The videos were then released over the summer, New York Magazine reported.
Sandra Merritt, also with CMP and one of the videographers, faces the same charges as Daleiden. They could face up to 20 years behind bars if proven guilty as it is considered a second-degree felony. Daleiden was also charged with misdemeanor indictment under the law prohibiting the purchase and sale of human organs, Chron reported.
As seen in the videos, the staff of Planned Parenthood was discussing casually the methods and costs of preserving fetal tissue that could be used for scientific researches. The organization alleged Daleiden and the other members of CMP of using aliases, having fake government I.D.s, and forming formed a fake tissue procurement company. The fake company was then used to access private areas and record private conversations so as to come up with the videos in an attempt to create false information.
The prosecutor in charge of the case, Devon Anderson, said in a statement, "We were called upon to investigate allegations of criminal conduct by Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast. As I stated at the outset of this investigation, we must go where the evidence leads us."
There are no available details yet as to when the next court appearance for the involved parties will be.