Planned Parenthood Just Scored a Major Political Win

Finally, a political win for Planned Parenthood.

The New York Times just broke the news that instead of Planned Parenthood being charged with crimes in the aftermath of that whole fetal tissue fiasco, it’s actually the people who recorded video of Planned Parenthood officials who might be in hot water.

In case you’re not up to speed, the saga began last July when some jabronies calling themselves “the Center for Medical Progress” started shopping around some footage of Planned Parenthood officials talking about selling aborted fetuses’ body parts to researchers.

CMP’s president, a 26-year-old activist named David Daleiden, had “posed as a biotechnology representative” to get in and record his meetings with Planned Parenthood officials, the Times reports.

This resulted in a political firestorm as conservatives started alleging that Planned Parenthood was in the business of selling babies’ body parts, thus increasing demand for abortions. In reality, though, only two Planned Parenthood locations have ever given fetal tissue to researchers — and only one of those accepted payment, according to the Times. Back in October, Planned Parenthood announced they’d no longer be accepting payment for fetal tissue anyway.

But before that, in August, Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick — a Republican who’s against abortion and Planned Parenthood — called for a criminal investigation of the organization, the Times reports:

His request came after the release of an undercover video taped at a Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast office in Houston with a research official for the organization. Mr. Patrick said the video showed the group “discussing the gruesome and barbaric work of Planned Parenthood and what appears to be its profiteering from selling body parts from aborted babies.”

That investigation’s not done yet, but in a super surprising twist, the script has been flipped completely: instead of Planned Parenthood being indicted, Daleiden is being indicted on a felony charge of tampering with a governmental record and a misdemeanor count related to purchasing human organs. Meanwhile, another CMP employee, Sandra Merritt, is being indicted on a charge of tampering with a governmental record.

The drama is far from over. Daleiden and Merritt haven’t even been charged yet, and Texas Governor Greg Abbott says that this doesn’t mean Planned Parenthood is getting off Scot-free on his watch. A state-level investigation against PP is ongoing. As the Times reports:

“Nothing about today’s announcement in Harris County impacts the state’s ongoing investigation,” Mr. Abbott said in a statement. “The State of Texas will continue to protect life, and I will continue to support legislation prohibiting the sale or transfer of fetal tissue.”

Still, it’s a much needed symbolic victory for an organization that needs political protection, whether any charges arise or not — and Planned Parenthood has already been cleared of wrongdoing by 11 other states’ investigations.

The organization’s leaders are pretty satisfied with today’s news.

“These people broke the law to spread malicious lies about Planned Parenthood in order to advance their extreme anti-abortion political agenda. As the dust settles and the truth comes out, it’s become totally clear that the only people who engaged in wrongdoing are the criminals behind this fraud, and we’re glad they’re being held accountable,” Eric Ferrero, a spokesman for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement as quoted by USA Today.

All this and an endorsement from J. Law. Planned Parenthood’s not having a bad couple of weeks, huh?

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