In response to the indictment by a Harris County, Texas Grand Jury of pro-life journalists for actions they took in exposing Planned Parenthood’s apparent practice of selling the body parts of aborted babies, national pro-life leaders are coming to the defense of the journalists and citing the political motivation of the indictment.
As Breitbart News reported, president and founder of Center for Medical Progress (CMP) David Daleiden and his colleague Sandra Merritt were indicted for felony tampering with a government record, though the specific details of the charge were not disclosed. Daleiden was also indicted for a charge of buying fetal tissue. Planned Parenthood, on the other hand, was found by the Grand Jury to have done nothing wrong.
President of pro-life group Live Action Lila Rose observed that the district attorney should have recused herself from the Daleiden case, since one of her office prosecutors serves on the local Planned Parenthood affiliate’s board.
“David Daleiden and his team have done a tremendous public service by exposing the horrific crimes against humanity that Planned Parenthood hides behind closed doors,” Rose said in a statement sent to Breitbart News. “CMP’s investigation forced Planned Parenthood, a tax-funded billion dollar corporation, to admit it was harvesting and selling aborted baby parts.”
“The district attorney’s office was asked months ago about recusing itself from this case because one of its prosecutors serves as a board member of the Planned Parenthood affiliate involved in the case,” she added. “It is unacceptable that the office did not recuse itself to eliminate any and all questions of potential bias. A special prosecutor should be appointed now to review this entire investigation.”
The abortion industry observed the indictment of Daleiden on Twitter:
— Cecile Richards (@CecileRichards) January 25, 2016
— Cecile Richards (@CecileRichards) January 26, 2016
— Planned Parenthood (@ppvotesct) January 26, 2016
Rep. Diane Black, who serves on the Select House panel that is investigating Planned Parenthood’s actions, said, “It is a sad day in America when those who harvest the body parts of aborted babies escape consequences for their actions, while the courageous truth-tellers who expose their misdeeds are handed down a politically motivated indictment instead.”
“Just days after tens of thousands of pro-life Americans participated in the March for Life to urge legal protection for the unborn, this senseless decision is a grim reminder of the work yet to be done,” she added. “I am profoundly disappointed in this miscarriage of justice but it will not deter our efforts in Congress to hold Planned Parenthood accountable.”
Rep. Tim Huelskamp tweeted the following:
— Cong. Tim Huelskamp (@CongHuelskamp) January 26, 2016
President of Students for Life of America Kristan Hawkins – who just awarded Daleiden one of her organization’s Defender of Life awards at their national conference yesterday in San Francisco – said in a statement sent to Breitbart News, “It’s horrifying that the Houston grand jury failed to indict the organization who was willing to sell baby body parts yet somehow manages to indict the journalist who caught them in the act.”
“The fact that an employee of the District Attorney is on the board of Planned Parenthood confirms an incestuous relationship between corrupt officials in the Harris County DA’s office and the nation’s largest abortion provider, whose livelihood is on the line should they be criminally charged with selling the body parts of aborted babies,” she continued. “I’m proud to stand with David, the Center for Medical Progress, and journalists everywhere on this one.”
Cheryl Sullenger, senior vice president of Operation Rescue, said in a statement:
We were disappointed, to say the least, by the news that a grand jury chose to indict the investigative journalists who were trying to expose and report crimes in Houston, Texas. This has the effect of chilling the First Amendment freedom of the press and could scare crime witnesses away from coming forward for fear that they might suffer similar retaliatory prosecution.
There is now a pattern in Houston of District Attorney Devon Anderson’s office covering up abortion-related crimes.
In 2013, another Anderson-controlled grand jury failed to indict Houston abortionist Douglas Karpen, who was accused by three of his former employees of murdering babies born alive during shoddy late-term abortions by twisting their heads or slashing their throats. Photographic evidence provided to me showed injuries to large aborted babies that was consistent with those claims. Operation Rescue has good reason to believe that evidence was never presented to that grand jury.
Because of the secrecy surrounding the grand jury process, it is susceptible to manipulation by a prosecutor with a personal or political agenda. In Kansas, abortion-related grand juries were so influenced by unscrupulous prosecutors who sought to cover up abortion crimes that the State Legislature is now attempting to change the laws to make the process more transparent and accountable to the people.
In Daleiden’s case, once the facts are allowed to come out, which Planned Parenthood and the NAF have worked night and day to conceal or misrepresent, we have every confidence that Daleiden and Merritt will be completely exonerated. In the meantime, Planned Parenthood remains under investigation by other state agencies in Texas, which we believe will reach different conclusions than that of the Anderson-influenced grand jury in Houston.
Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue, was a founding board member of CMP and has been sued by the National Abortion Federation and Planned Parenthood.
James O’Keefe, president of Project Veritas – which also conducts undercover video projects exposing corruption – said on his personal Facebook account Monday evening, “Every great activist, every great journalist, every great human being is falsely accused or incarcerated for revealing something important. That’s why I stand by my friend David Daleiden. It only matters what he exposed and the great things he’ll do next.”