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Texas grand jury indicts activists behind Planned Parenthood video

[JURIST] A Texas grand jury has found no criminal wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood [advocacy website] over allegations of selling fetal tissue, instead indicting [indictments, PDF] two activists responsible for releasing videos that spurred the allegations. Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson [official website] announced [press release, PDF] Monday that Center for Medical Progress [official website] CEO David Daleiden and activist Sandra Merritt are facing felony charges for tampering with government documents. Anderson said, "as I stated at the outset of this investigation, we must go where the evidence leads us. All the evidence uncovered in the course of this investigation was presented to the grand jury. I respect their decision on this difficult case."

Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit last week in the US District Court for the Northern District of California [official website] against the Center for Medical Progress. The anti-abortion group released several secretly recorded videos in July alleging that Planned Parenthood sold fetal tissue to researchers for a profit. Planned Parenthood has denied these allegations and claims only a few of its clinics provide fetal tissue for research and that the only compensation they receive is reimbursement for costs incurred. The suit claims that the group is guilty of "making recordings without consent, registering false identities with state agencies and violating non-disclosure agreements," as well as engaging in "wire fraud, mail fraud invasion of privacy and trespassing."The lawsuit seeks compensation in the form of punitive damages and legal fees.

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