In what feels like a surreal turn of events, a grand jury in Houston, initially called up to investigate a Planned Parenthood chapter in light of the Center for Medical Progress’s video expose, has instead exonerated Planned Parenthood and returned felony indictments for CMP head David Daleiden and another CMP employee.
Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson said David Daleiden, the director of the Center for Medical Progress, faces a felony charge of tampering with a governmental record and a misdemeanor count related to buying human tissue.
Sandra Merritt, one of Daleiden’s employees, was also indicted on a charge of tampering with a governmental record.
The grand jury cleared Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast of any wrongdoing.
“We were called upon to investigate allegations of criminal conduct by Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast,” Anderson said in a statement. “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.”
I can imagine that this case is indeed difficult. Consider: In one corner, you have a group of investigative journalists who spent months getting deep inside a healthcare organization that receives federal funding every year. You have eyewitness testimony, on camera, that Planned Parenthood employees manipulated and deceived patients about their abortions. You have, on camera, PP workers discussing which parts of the fetal anatomy are more likely to yield better “reimbursements,” and the best methods for preserving those parts during an abortion. You have a recording of a high level executive for Planned Parenthood’s joking that she wants a sports car from her career as a fetal organ harvester.
And in the other corner, you have the abortion lobby. The same abortion lobby that threatens journalists to not cover its controversies. The same abortion lobby that awards journalists of major online publications when they cover them favorably (or, not at all). The same abortion lobby that insists, fervently, that none of the fungible money it receives from taxpayers actually sponsors abortions, even while abortions account for the vast majority of its financial gain. The same abortion lobby that is so unregulated, so left alone, that people like Kermit Gosnell can become mass murderers–and hardly anyone knows about it.
I don’t know if David Daleiden and his organization broke the law in the course of their project. If they did, I hope no one will hear me as saying that the courts should completely ignore it or look the other way. I don’t know what evidence was presented to that Houston grand jury, so I can’t say with any moral authority what should have happened.
What I do know is what I and millions of other Americans saw in those recordings. And I know that throughout this entire saga, a saga which cast more light on the practices of abortion providers than anything I’ve ever seen, Planned Parenthood, whom all the eyewitness and recorded evidence accuse, have enjoyed a mind-boggling benefit of the doubt. From media coverage that was scant-to-nonexistent, even after PP chief Cecile Richards was apologizing publicly for her employees, to a Planned Parenthood board member sitting on the same Houston prosecutor team that just got the whistleblowers indicted, there just doesn’t seem to be anything scandalous or untoward enough that the abortion lobby can do. Just too big to fail.
But here’s the thing: They’re not.
The abortion lobby will strike back, yes. It will swing political muscle and apply its pressure to major media outlets, yes. But in the end, the abortion lobby’s greatest asset is the darkness. And it’s precisely that darkness that David Daleiden and his brave team scattered with such ferocious audacity. What the Center for Medical Progress did was give voice to the abortion industry when they thought no one was listening. Their own words (“It’s a boy!”) dismantle the illusion of impersonality and “tissue harvesting.”
Nothing can undo that, not even partisanship in the courts and media. Nothing can unmake the record of the videos. Nothing can change what is seen, once it is seen.
For that, we owe David Daleiden, Holly O’Donnell, Bernard Nathanson, and many others a debt of gratitude, not just for ourselves but for millions more yet unborn.
Let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream.