PP washington

Last Friday marked the 43rd anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court case Roe V. Wade that decided women have a right to privacy and to make their own reproductive health choices. Now, over four decades later, Planned Parenthood has been held under an accusatory microscope, facing charges of illegally selling human body parts. These accusations arose in July when videos surfaced, capturing a private conversation between PP staff about the transferring of fetal tissues to what she believed to be a sound medical company but was actually to anti-abortion activists using fake IDs to infiltrate Planned Parenthood and gather evidence. Seems crazy Planned Parenthood was the one being accused of anything, right?

Well, today karma has come for the two Center for Medical Progress representatives responsible for the damaging videos. The grand jury that was gathered to investigate allegations against Planned Parenthood has instead indicted the two anti-abortion activists for tampering with a governmental record, a felony, and on a misdemeanor charge related to purchasing human organs. The two presented themselves as biotechnology representatives in order to get into Planned Parenthood facilities and secretly record videos.  Merritt was also charged with tampering with a governmental record.

The videos recorded by the CMP employees supposedly revealed that Planned Parenthood was participating in the illegal sale of human organs. These accusations have not been found to be true in numerous congressional investigations. And Monday the Harris County district attorney released a statement announcing that the grand jury has cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing. This all follows the announcement earlier this month that a California branch of Planned Parenthood is suing the CMP and Daleiden for damages occurred during the numerous investigations sparked by the videos.


Abortion Rights

While the grand jury’s decision is a technical victory, is it possible the damage is already done? The videos, which have been doctored in a way to decontextualize comments made by Planned Parenthood staff, have been circulating since July, sparking numerous congressional investigations and rekindling a movement to defund Planned Parenthood. The lies spread by the videos led to a shooting of a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood facility, after which the shooter said, “No more baby parts.” The delicate image of Planned Parenthood swings from a woman’s care center to a heartless baby-killing factory depending on who you talk to has been forever tarnished by the videos released but the CMP.

Eric Ferrero, a Planned Parenthood Federation of America spokesperson said in a statement, “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.”

roe v wade

We are living in a post-Roe V. Wade world, but facilities performing crucial women’s health procedures (only 3% of which abortions) can be dragged through for months without any majoring questioning of the validity of the evidence presented against it. It is clear that although the law says women have the right to privacy and choice when it comes to reproductive rights, the societal knee-jerk reaction is to assume the pro-choice, pro-woman facility is lying. It saddening that Congress will perform a reproductive rights witch hunt before looking at the authenticity of the evidence of any wrongdoing. We have a long way to go before America is a safe and open place for women’s reproductive rights but this indictment is a step in the right direction.  


Images via Planned Parenthood/Facebook 

More from BUST

Planned Parenthood To Anti-Choice Smear Campaign: 'We'll See You In Court'

We Hear You! Reclaiming Roe In The South

7 Ways To Celebrate Your Reproductive Rights On The Roe V. Wade Anniversary


Maggie is a slightly visually impaired bookworm and consuer of fine Ranch Dressings. Her hobbies include looking at pictures of puppies on instagram and squealing, rewatching episodes of Buffy The Vampire Slayer and perfecting her scarily accurate impression of a chicken. See what she is musing about at @maggiesmusingz

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