The religious right’s vicious and deceitful attack on Planned Parenthood — part of a long war on abortion and other other reproductive health care services for women — appears to be backfiring in a big way.
Last year anti-abortion activists released a number of deceptively edited, undercover videos that suggested Planned Parenthood was illegally selling tissue from aborted fetuses. Religious-righters and their political allies — like Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick — demanded that authorities investigate and prosecute Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood officials strongly denied the charges and pointed out that the videos had been edited in a way designed to smear and embarrass the organization. Moreover, they argued that the video makers used fake government IDs and made other false representations in order to get into private conference and health care clinics when making the videos.
The Harris County District Attorney’s Office did launch an investigation, but it turns out that grand jurors in Houston appear to believe Planned Parenthood instead of the lies coming from anti-abortion fanatics.
A Harris County grand jury has declined to indict Planned Parenthood officials in Houston. Instead, the grand jury has handed down indictments against two people involved in making the videos. David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt were indicted on charges of tampering with a government document. According to Houston television station KTRK, Daleiden was also indicted on a charge involving the prohibition on the purchase and sale of human organs.
Harris County’s Republican district attorney, Devon Anderson had this to say:
“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. All the evidence uncovered in the course of this investigation was presented to the grand jury. I respect their decision on this difficult case.”
Lt. Gov. Patrick and other elected officials who so dishonestly promoted the falsehoods in those videos owe Planned Parenthood a public apology.
More on this story here.