Two anti-abortion activists indicted in Texas

Two anti-abortion activists indicted after releasing videos which show fetal tissue procurement by Planned Parenthood

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Protesters hold signs and cheer during an anti-abortion rally at the State Capitol in Austin, Texas, July 8, 2013.

A grand jury in Texas issued on Monday several indictments to two abortion activists who filmed videos showing fetal tissue procurement by Planned Parenthood.

The two abortion activists, David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt who made allegations against the group for selling fetal tissue, were indicted for tampering with a governmental record by the Harris County District Attorney’s office.

Following the allegations, Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott launched an investigation against Planned Parenthood, accusing them for "gruesome harvesting of baby body parts."

The jury studied the case for two months and found that no laws were broken by the group.

According to the federal law, human fetal tissue can be donated for research but never be subject of trade.  

The videos released last year in Texas and other Republican-controlled states, were aiming to cut funds for local Planned Parenthood operations.

"After a lengthy and thorough investigation by the Harris County District Attorney's Office, the Texas Rangers, and the Houston Police Department, a Harris County grand jury took no action Monday against Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast," the Harris County District Attorney's office said in a statement.

Planned Parenthood has denied the accusations, claiming that there is a political motivation under the probe.  

"These people broke the law to spread malicious lies about Planned Parenthood in order to advance their extreme anti-abortion political agenda," said Eric Ferrero, vice president of Communications for Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

A professor from the Stanford Law School, David Sklansky said that "It would be quite unusual for the grand jury to change direction without the cooperation and approval of the prosecutor," adding that "but pretty much everything associated with this case seems unusual."

Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee also commented about the decision saying that  "It's a sick day in America when our government punishes those who expose evil with a smartphone - while accommodating those who perform it with a scalpel."

TRTWorld and agencies