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Just In: Texas Indicts Maker Of Planned Parenthood Hoax Videos On Felony Charges

Just In: Texas Indicts Maker Of Planned Parenthood Hoax Videos On Felony Charges

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Justice is finally coming for the perpetrators of the Planned Parenthood smear campaign. A Texas grand jury in Harris County that was investigating the beloved reproductive health center has decided to indict David Daleiden and Sandra Merrit for their role in creating and distributing the heavily edited and deceptive videos that attempted to portray Planned Parenthood in some kind of black market fetal tissue trade, while in reality those tissues are transported to biomedical research firms, where they are used to research cures for diseases like cancer and AIDS. 

Daleiden is the founder of the Center For Medical Progress, a fake biomedical company that illegally recorded Planned Parenthood officials and used the footage to create videos that led to a virulent anti-choice campaign from the religious right and opportunistic presidential candidates that culminated in several arsons and a deranged domestic terrorist murdering three people at a clinic in Colorado Springs. He was handed “a felony charge of tampering with a governmental record and a misdemeanor count related to purchasing human organs.” Merrit, his accomplice, was also charged with tampering with governmental record. 

It is an extremely satisfying vindication for women’s reproductive rights in America. Only 3% of what Planned Parenthood does involves abortion; the vast majority of their funds goes to contraception, cancer screenings, and STD testing. They provide critically important services to millions of American men and women, many of whom are low-income or minorities. The organization has been the victim of a repulsive smear campaign by religious zealots intent on depriving American women of agency over their own bodies in a conservative political climate that demonizes female sexuality and fights to impose a puritanical form of social control over half of our nation’s population. It is far past time this anti-abortion propagandist was brought to justice for the irreversible damage he has done to Planned Parenthood’s reputation and to women’s rights in our nation.

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Colin Taylor
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.

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