BY GENEVIEVE KURTZ
In an ironic turn of events, the Houston grand jury investigating whether undercover recordings of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast revealed wrongdoing by staffers has indicted the two anti-abortion activists who made the videos instead.
This came after videos were released last year claiming that Planned Parenthood unlawfully sells fetal tissue for profit, which led to a two-month investigation of the organization.
The videos and allegations were made by the Center for Medical Progress, a self-styled group of “citizen journalists.”
Despite the organization’s misleading name, the members are anti-abortion activists––none of whom work toward advancing medical treatments nor are qualified to do so. And despite continual disbelief and outrage from opponents of Planned Parenthood about the videos’ contents, the grand jury determined that the videos were deceptively edited and contained false information.
The founder of the Center for Medical Progress, David Daleiden, and fellow activist involved in the making of the deceitful videos, Sandra Merritt, were indicted on charges of tampering with government records. Additionally, Daleiden was indicted on charges related to the buying and selling of human organs.
The controversy has become an issue in the current presidential campaign – with many Republicans using it as an argument to cut funding for Planned Parenthood and Democrats using it to defend funding the organization. While the main argument for cutting funding is because Planned Parenthood provides abortions, the other services it offers are often overlooked. In fact, only three percent of its total services are abortions and of the approximately 40 percent of funding provided by the government, none of that money goes toward abortion services.
Sure, Planned Parenthood does offer abortions, which remain legal under federal law. But the majority of their services revolve around providing sex education to prevent early and unwanted pregnancies, STI/STD testing and treatment, distributing contraceptives and offering cancer screenings and other services to support women’s health.
The good work and vital services provided by Planned Parenthood are being taken hostage by some zealots spreading vicious lies about the organization.