Planned Parenthood videos: Judge dismisses charges against duo who released videos exposing Planned Parenthood
The two pro-life activists who released undercover videos taken in a Planned Parenthood facility have been cleared of all charges on Tuesday, July 26.
U.S. District Judge Brock Thomas dismissed the last remaining charge against David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt as Harris county prosecutor's office dropped the felony charge for tampering with a government record before the two could file a motion to quash it.
Daleiden said their victory in court is "a resounding vindication of the First Amendment rights of all citizen journalists" and should serve as a warning to politicans protecting Planned Parenthood and taking on whistleblowers like them.
He accused Planned Parenthood of colluding with politicians to "manipulate the legal process" in the hope of achieving the end they desired but did not succeed.
"A year after the release of the undercover videos, the ongoing nationwide investigation of Planned Parenthood by the House Select Investigative Panel makes clear that Planned Parenthood is the guilty party in the harvesting and trafficking of baby body parts for profit," Daleiden said in a statement to LifeSite News.
Daleiden and Merritt are investigators for Center for Medical Progress, a group of citizen journalists that focus on issues involving medical ethics and medical advances.
Carrying fake identities and posing as employees of Biomax, a nonexistent biological company, Daleiden and Merritt approached Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast in Houston last year for fetal body parts that the company would supposedly use for its studies.
As they met with the organization's officials, they secretly recorded in video conversations about the fetal body parts, including an official explaining how they were able to get intact fetuses and negotiations for the body parts' prices. They were also able to record the actual dissection of an unborn baby.
The expose led to a congressional probe on Planned Parenthood. It was found out that the organization used pressure on women to donate their aborted babies.
The investigation also discovered that Planned Parenthood gave patient information to StemExpress, a company that buys fetal tissue, violating the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
Authorities in Texas likewise conducted an investigation when the videos came out. However, the grand jury indicted Daleiden and Merritt for misdemeanor, falsifying their identification and felony. Planned Parenthood was cleared of any charge.
"The indictment was politically-motivated and should never have been filed in the first place," said Mat Staver, Merritt's representative and Liberty Counsel founder, according to LifeSite News.