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David Daleiden, the 27-year-old anti-abortion enthusiast best-known for his complex attempts to expose Planned Parenthood, turned himself in last week to the Harris County courthouse in Texas. He was immediately released upon posting a $3,000 bail.
Daleiden, the founder of the pro-life Center for Medical Progress, is being indicted on two charges: a second-degree felony charge for tampering with government records, and a misdemeanor charge regarding the prohibition of the purchase and sale of human organs, for which he could face up to 20 years in prison.
Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick urged the Harris County prosecutor’s office “to convene a grand jury to investigate the claims,” regarding the belief that Planned Parenthood was illegally selling and profiting from fetal tissue. The prosecutor’s office complied with Patrick’s request, and upon investigation, cleared Planned Parenthood of all accusations and instead charged Daleiden and his accomplice, Sandra Merritt.
Planned Parenthood has illustrated time and time again that they refused to sell fetal tissue to Daleiden, and have stated that they have never profited from fetal tissue apart from shipping reimbursement costs. Regardless, the organization has stated that it will no longer accept these reimbursements in order to avoid any further legal issues.
Daleiden’s stint aimed at infiltrating Planned Parenthood was a two-and-a-half-year process that can simultaneously be called ingenious and diabolical. Posing under the name “Robert Sarkis,” he created a fake company called Biomax Procurement Services, posing as a tissue-collecting organization, all with the goal in mind of discretely recording videos that could prove that Planned Parenthood was illegally selling fetal tissue for profit. He rounded up and trained a team of undercover anti-abortion activists to pose as his employees.
The charges against him include his obtaining a fake California license as part of his infiltration efforts, as well as his phony attempts to purchase fetal tissue in the secretly recorded videos.
Many of Daleiden’s videos were reportedly heavily edited in order to fabricate the idea that Planned Parenthood was indeed taking part in the illegal sale of the tissue.
Eric Ferrero, vice president of communication for Planned Parenthood stated, “These anti-abortion extremists spent three years creating a fake company, creating fake identities, lying and breaking the law. When they couldn’t find any improper or illegal activity, they made it up.”
Daleiden is scheduled to appear in court again on March 28, but he and his team of attorneys are confident that the judge will drop the charges before the trial. Jared Woodfill, one of his attorneys, stated that he considers Daleiden to be a “modern-day hero” for the anti-abortion movement. Harris County made a diversion offer stating that if Daleiden were to plead guilty, he would be guaranteed to serve no jail time. Daleiden refused the offer, on the grounds that he believed he had not done anything wrong.
John Schaffer, an attorney for Planned Parenthood, stated that, “Whether or not the case goes to trial depends on how much of a martyr [Daleiden] wants to be.”
The expression on Daleiden’s face in the featured photo says it all.
Photo courtesy of concordmonitor.com