Late Tuesday, California’s Democratic Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced that he is charging pro-life investigative journalists David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt of the Center for Medical Progress with 15 felony counts related to their secret recordings that revealed officials from Planned Parenthood’s participated in the illegal harvesting and trafficking of the remains of aborted babies
Becerra, a former U.S. Congressman, is pro-choice and supports the right of unlimited access to abortion. On May 31, 2012, Becerra voted against H.R. 3541, the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA), which would have imposed civil and criminal penalties on anyone knowingly attempting to perform a sex-selective abortion. The bill also would have required healthcare providers to report known or suspected violations to law enforcement, including suspicions about a woman’s motives for seeking an abortion. Even had the bill passed in both houses of Congress, President Barack Obama was preparing to veto it.
In 2016, Daleiden and Merritt were indicted by a tainted grand jury on similar charges, which were later dismissed after evidence surfaced that the Harris County District Attorney’s office had colluded with Planned Parenthood for political reasons to turn the grand jury against the pro-life activists.
“An attorney representing Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, Josh Schaffer, has admitted that he pressured the Harris County District Attorney’s office to refocus a grand jury investigation away from his client and onto pro-life journalists David Daleiden and his associate, Sandra Merritt, of the Center for Medical Progress. Schaeffer also confessed that Assistant District Attorney Sunni Mitchell did an ‘end around’ the State Attorney General Ken Paxton in order to share sealed video evidence with Planned Parenthood,” said Cheryl Sullenger, Senior Vice President of Operation Rescue.
“Just as corruption was involved in the last attempt to falsely charge David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, I predict that corruption is at the heart of these California charges as well. It is despicable that the California Attorney General charged innocent whistleblowers with felonies instead of the career criminals at Planned Parenthood. This is the ultimate abuse of power and tyranny. The Planned Parenthood butchers have committed tens of thousands of felonies by illegally selling baby’s body parts for profit,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue who also served as a founding member of the board for the Center for Medical Progress.
It is believed that the California charges are in retaliation to criminal referrals of several Planned Parenthood organizations to the U.S. Department of Justice by the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives.
“We call on U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to aggressively prosecute Planned Parenthood and their partners in the illegal aborted baby parts trade,” said Ms. Sullenger. “We ask that Attorney General Sessions resist any intimidation by California authorities who are simply acting as Democratic operatives on a political agenda to thwart any prosecution of Planned Parenthood.”
In response to the charges, Daleiden has released a new video that features Planned Parenthood executives making statements that further illustrate their involvement in the illicit trade of aborted baby remains.