A Texas grand jury investigating claims that Planned Parenthood managers were illegally selling baby parts ended up instead charging one of the clinic's accusers of trafficking in fetal organs. David Daleiden, leader of the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress was indicted on a felony charge of tampering with a governmental record and for breaching the "prohibition of the purchase and sale of human organs," a misdemeanour.
David Daleiden, 26, had posed as a biotech representative in 2015 to infiltrate Planned Parenthood affiliates, including one in Houston, and secretly videotaped his efforts to purchase tissue allegedly for research. A second employee of the Center for Medical Progress was charged with tampering with a federal record, apparently for using a false identity.
Planned Parenthood has said that Daleiden's fake company sent an agreement offering to pay the "astronomical amount" of $1,600 for organs from a foetus. The clinic said it never entered into the agreement and ceased contact with BioMax because it was "disturbed" by the overtures.
Daleiden and his supporters claimed that that the undercover videotapes showed Planned Parenthood was illegally profiting from selling fetal tissue, a claim that the women's health care provider has denied. Conservative politicians used the tapes to cut off federal funding for the health care provider.
Planned Parenthood was cleared of any wrongdoing in the Houston grand jury investigation, announced Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson, which was not the case with the anti-abortion activists. "We must go where the evidence leads us," she said according to Dallas Morning News. However, a state investigation is continuing into Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood managers said Daleiden's claims against them triggered a fresh spate of death threats. Shortly after the tapes were released a gunman shot dead three workers in a Colorado Planned Parenthood Clinic. Robert Dear, who admitted to the killings, explained his action by saying simply: "No more baby parts."
Planned Parenthood in California has sued the Center for Medical Progress for racketeering, accusing the organization of launching a three-year criminal enterprise to target the organization.