Case dismissed: Charge dropped against anti-abortion undercover video maker

by Gregory Tomlin, |
Anti-abortion activist David Daleiden speaks at a news conference outside a court in Houston, Texas, on February 4, 2016. | REUTERS/Ruthy Munoz/File Photo

HOUSTON (Christian Examiner) – A Texas judge has dismissed the last remaining charge against the citizen-journalist who secretly recorded physicians and administrators with Planned Parenthood openly discussing the trafficking of aborted fetal body parts for profit.

On Tuesday, District Judge Brock Thomas vacated the charge of tampering with a government record against David Daleiden, director of the Center for Medical Progress, and his counterpart, Sandra Merritt. Both presented fake driver's licenses to verify their undercover identities when they met with abortion clinic personnel and the abortion mill's administrators.

The Harris County prosecutor requested the charge be dropped, but it isn't exactly clear why just yet, as the prosecutor has not made a statement. However, what was clear is that at least one attorney in the District Attorney's office is a board member of Planned Parenthood's Gulf Coast operation.

District Attorney Devon Anderson, a Republican, has insisted in the past that the staff member's position would have no bearing on the case, but there is evidence of a campaign donor-candidate relationship between the DA and late-term abortionist Douglas Karpen, who was charged but not convicted of murdering several fetuses that survived the abortion procedure.

Daleiden said in a statement the dismissal of the "bogus, politically motivated charges" against him and Merritt is "a resounding vindication of the First Amendment rights of all citizen journalists, and also a clear warning to any of Planned Parenthood's political cronies who would attack whistleblowers to protect Planned Parenthood from scrutiny."

Planned Parenthood's president of its Gulf Coast operation issued a scathing statement of dissent following the dismissal of the charges. Melaney A. Linton said Planned Parenthood "provides high-quality, compassionate health care and has been cleared of wrongdoing time and again."

"Daleidan and other anti-abortion extremists, on the other hand, spent three years creating a fake company, creating fake identities, and lying. When they couldn't find any improper or illegal activity, they made it up. They spread malicious lies about Planned Parenthood in order to advance their anti-abortion agenda. The decision to drop the prosecution on a technicality does not negate the fact that the only people who engaged in wrongdoing are the extremists behind this fraud," Linton said.

If Daleiden and Merritt had been convicted, both could have been sentenced to up to 20 years in prison on the felony charge.

In June, the charge that Daleiden had attempted to procure human tissue from Planned Parenthood – a misdemeanor – was also dropped. It was clear to the judge Daleiden was not actually attempting to buy fetal body parts, but to stop the abortion mill's trade in it.