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Texas Grand Jury Clears Planned Parenthood, Indicts Abortion Rights Opponents

Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015, before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on "Planned Parenthood's Taxpayer Funding."

CREDIT: AP/Jacquelyn Martin.

After a two-month investigation, a Texas grand jury cleared Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast of any wrongdoing and instead indicted two abortion rights opponents who made undercover videos depicting to show the organization illegally selling fetal tissue for profit.

One of those indicted was David Daleiden, the director of the Center for Medical Progress, the anti-abortion group responsible for making and releasing the undercover videos. He and another employee were both charged with tampering with a governmental record, a second-degree felony.

Daleiden was also indicted on one class A misdemeanor associated with purchasing human organs.

The felony charges accuse both Daleiden and the other employee of making and using a fake California driver’s license when they secretly recorded an April meeting with officials at a Planned Parenthood office in Houston.

It was the result of that video being released that Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, a Republican, asked the district attorney in Harris County to open a criminal investigation against Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast on the accusations of misconduct.

Despite jurors clearing the organization of those accusations, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Planned Parenthood would remain under investigation by state officials.

Last month, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America filed its own lawsuit against those responsible for the undercover videos, including Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress, in Federal District Court in San Francisco. The lawsuit accuses the abortion rights opponents of taking part in a three-year criminal enterprise targeting Planned Parenthood.

Matt Wotus is a reporter for Generation Progress, covering health and health care. Follow him on Instagram at @mawotus_27.

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