HOUSTON (FOX 26) - A Harris County grand jury decided not to indict Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast Inc. (PPGC) on Monday following an extensive joint investigation by the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, Texas Rangers and Houston Police Department.
Over a period of two months, the grand jury reviewed the investigation into misconduct by PPGC and cleared the organization of any wrongdoing. The grand jury did indict David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt who were involved in making allegations against PPGC through covert recordings from April 2015. Daleiden and Sandra Merritt were indicted with tampering with a governmental record. An additional indictment was issued against Daleiden for prohibition of the purchase and sale of human organs.
Tampering with a governmental record is a second-degree felony and the offense of prohibition of the purchase and sale of human organs is a Class A misdemeanor.
“We were called upon to investigate allegations of criminal conduct by Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast,” said Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson. “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.”
"The Health and Human Service Commission’s Inspector General and the Attorney General’s office have an ongoing investigation into Planned Parenthood’s actions,” said Texas Governor Greg Abbott. “Nothing about today’s announcement in Harris County impacts the state’s ongoing investigation. The State of Texas will continue to protect life, and I will continue to support legislation prohibiting the sale or transfer of fetal tissue."
"As we have always said, Planned Parenthood provides high-quality, compassionate health care and has done nothing improper," said Melaney Linton, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast. "Planned Parenthood has never 'sold' fetal tissue or facilitated fetal tissue donation in order to profit. These claims are completely false and unfounded."
"The people behind this fraud lied and broke the law in order to spread malicious lies about Planned Parenthood to advance their extreme anti-abortion political agenda," added Linton. "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 are being held accountable."