Pro-life advocate Sandra (Susan) Merritt posted bond today in response to what her attorneys and pro-life groups say are bogus charges related to his undercover investigation and exposure of the Planned Parenthood abortion business selling the body parts of aborted babies.
A Texas grand jury indicted David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, two of the undercover investigators behind the videos. Instead of prosecuting Planned Parenthood for selling aborted baby parts, Daleiden and Merritt were indicted for buying them.
Merritt, 62, is accused of using a fake ID with the name Sandra Tannenbaum, posted a $2,000 bond and was immediately released. The District Attorney told the judge that the DA’s office offered pre-trial diversion reducing the charge from a felony to a misdemeanor. The judge was asked by the legal team to reduce Sandra’s bail from $10,000 to $2,000, which he did. Sandra posted bail and was released.
Attorneys with Liberty Counsel, a pro-life legal group, are representing Merritt in the case.
Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, and Harry Mihet, Chief Counsel for Liberty Counsel, was with her today.
Staver said, “Sandra did nothing wrong. The indictment against her is weak, and the discovery will reveal why she will prevail. Sandra has revealed to the world the brutality that occurs in Planned Parenthood abortion centers. She should be applauded for her courage, not indicted. We shall prevail because Sandra did not break any laws.”
“Sandra is scheduled to reappear in court on March 28. In the meantime, our legal team has already filed motions for discovery,” he said.
“Liberty Counsel has assembled a highly qualified legal defense team, including Dan Cogdell and Chris Downey, both from Houston. Chris was a former District Attorney. Dan has successfully handled many high-profile criminal cases, including ENRON, a person with the Branch Dravidians, and more. Dan has been repeatedly recognized as one of the nation’s leading criminal defense lawyers,” the group told LifeNews.
Christine Melchor, director of Houston Coalition for Life indicated dozens of pro-life advocates turned out to support Merritt.
“Sandra Merritt teared up when she saw our signs today and was very grateful for the support and prayers we offered her,” Melchor said. “Unborn children in Houston have been saved from abortion because of the undercover videos from the Center for Medical Progress. We have met these women in both of our mobile crisis pregnancy centers. Thank God for the courage of David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt and everyone at the Center for Medical Progress.”
Melissa Conway of Texas Right to Life believes both pro-life advocates will be exonerated.
“We feel confident that when all the evidence is presented, along with the additional footage released last night, David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt will not be found guilty,” she said. “Even the grand jury that wrongfully indicted the citizen journalists did not deny that the videos are real. The illegal business practices and the barbaric disregard for human Life show the harsh reality of abortion in our state. Texas will hold Planned Parenthood accountable for their illegal activity.”
Daleiden and Merritt were charged with one felony related to tampering with a governmental record and a misdemeanor count related to buying human tissue. The felony charge was in reference to the use of a fake ID. If convicted, Daleiden faces 20 years in prison while Planned Parenthood officials face no legal consequences for their actions.
Daleiden, Founder of the Center for Medical Progress, will post bail in Harris County, Texas on Thursday.
Alexandra Snyder, a pro-life attorney from the Life legal Defense Foundation, is with Daleiden in Houston and she explained the charges Daleiden faces and said the charges are politicized in nature and trumped up because he exposed the nation’s biggest abortion business as opposed to something more politically correct.
“If David’s investigation had revealed evidence of criminal conduct in a meatpacking plant, his freedom would not be threatened,” she told LifeNews.com. The videos would be seen as providing a valuable public benefit and prosecutors would act on the information.”
“We are confident that other agencies will take an objective look at Planned Parenthood’s willingness to engage in illegal activity, including altering the abortion procedure to obtain intact fetal cadavers, that is clearly evident in the videos. In the meantime, we will do everything we can to defend David from these baseless charges,” she added.
“The tampering charge, which is a felony offense, is for the use of a California identification to enter the Planned Parenthood facility for the purpose of the investigation. It is the same charge that would be leveled at a minor who used a fake ID to purchase alcohol. However, the law also provides a defense where the false information has “no effect on the government’s purpose for requiring the governmental record.” The charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison,” Snyder explained.
Daleiden was also charged with human organ trafficking, a misdemeanor charge, for allegedly offering to purchase fetal body parts from Planned Parenthood. Inexplicably, Planned Parenthood was not charged with the corresponding crime of offering to sell human organs. Moreover, an attorney for Planned Parenthood has reported that the grand jury never even voted on charges against his client.
Snyder said the charges filed against Daleiden and Merritt do not in any way diminish the overwhelming evidence obtained by the Center for Medical Progress showing that Planned Parenthood has engaged in and is more than willing to profit from the sale of fetal tissue. CMP released a new video on Tuesday that shows Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast’s Director of Research discussing “remuneration” and “compensation” with Daleiden, who posed as a fetal tissue buyer.
Texas Right to Life Senior Legislative Associate Emily Horne told LifeNews.com, “While indictment is not indicative of guilt, we urge District Attorney Anderson to drop all charges against David and Sandra, and turn her attention to the lawbreakers of Planned Parenthood who commit injustices against unborn Texas children every day.”
“As our state and country continue to see the reality of abortion through the actions of Planned Parenthood caught on camera, we as an organization seek to change the law. These shocking videos underscore the need for Texas to make dismemberment abortion illegal. Without the violent dismemberment of children in the womb, the abortion industry would not be able to strategically harvest saleable parts, and the issue of trafficking baby body parts would be moot,” her organization said.
But Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson has defended her indictment of pro-life advocate David Daleiden despite the fact that a Planned Parenthood abortion business board members works as a prosecutor in her office. And new information LifeNews uncovered shows Anderson’s campaign received more than $25,000 from the attorney who works for a late-term abortionist.
Since the indictment, Anderson is facing criticism over her failure to prosecute an abortionist known as the Kermit Gosnell of Houston.
Anderson oversaw a previous abortion-related grand jury investigation of Houston abortionist Douglas Karpen after Operation Rescue released evidence in the form of photos and witness testimony that babies were being born alive during abortions and intentionally killed by twisting their necks. This case garnered publicity in the wake of the conviction of Pennsylvania abortionist Kermit Gosnell on three counts of First Degree Murder for intentionally killing babies born alive during abortions in a similar fashion.
That Anderson-led grand jury failed to indict Karpen despite the considerable evidence against him.
Karpen was represented at his trial by attorney Chip Lewis, who donated more than $25,000 to Anderson’s re-election campaign. Anderson has an extensive relationship with Lewis as did her husband when he was district attorney.
Anderson has also come under considerable fire for what pro-life advocates call a politically motivated indictment and because a Planned Parenthood board member works for Anderson as an assistant district attorney. Lauren Reeder is a prosecutor in the Harris County District Attorney’s criminal family law division. Reeder is listed as a non-compensated “Director” on the 990 Tax Form for 2014 filed by Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast.
Although Anderson indicates Reeder had no role in the Daleiden indictment, there’s really no way of knowing if that is truly the case. Because of that, pro-life advocates have called for the appointment of a special prosecutor to look into the indictment and the fact that the grand jury never voted on charges related to Planned Parethood’s sale of aborted babies.
With her top campaign contributor representing a prominent abortion practitioner and a Planned Parenthood board member working in her office, the attorney for pro-lifer investigator Susan Merritt said it’s no wonder that Devon Anderson indicted the pro-life investigators as opposed to Planned Parenthood.
Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, told LifeNews: “There is a history of bias in the DA’s office involving abortion doctors and Planned Parenthood. We will intend to shine the light on the process. We believe the prosecutor and the grand jury twisted the law. Sandra Merritt should never have been indicted. The focus and the inquiry should and will remain on the horrific abortion practices of Planned Parenthood.”
The expose’ videos catching Planned Parenthood officials selling the body parts of aborted babies have shocked the nation. Here is a list of all eleven:
- In the first video: Dr. Deborah Nucatola of Planned Parenthood commented on baby-crushing: “We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.”
- In the second video: Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Mary Gatter joked, “I want a Lamborghini” as she negotiated the best price for baby parts.
- In the third video: Holly O’Donnell, a former Stem Express employee who worked inside a Planned Parenthood clinic, detailed first-hand the unspeakable atrocities and how she fainted in horror over handling baby legs.
- In the fourth video: Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Savita Ginde stated, “We don’t want to do just a flat-fee (per baby) of like, $200. A per-item thing works a little better, just because we can see how much we can get out of it.” She also laughed while looking at a plate of fetal kidneys that were “good to go.”
- In the fifth video: Melissa Farrell of Planned Parenthood-Gulf Coast in Houston boasted of Planned Parenthood’s skill in obtaining “intact fetal cadavers” and how her “research” department “contributes so much to the bottom line of our organization here, you know we’re one of the largest affiliates, our Research Department is the largest in the United States.”
- In the sixth video: Holly O’Donnell described technicians taking fetal parts without patient consent: “There were times when they would just take what they wanted. And these mothers don’t know. And there’s no way they would know.”
- In the seventh and perhaps most disturbing video: Holly O’Donnell described the harvesting, or “procurement,” of organs from a nearly intact late-term fetus aborted at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte’s Alameda clinic in San Jose, CA. “‘You want to see something kind of cool,’” O’Donnell says her supervisor asked her. “And she just taps the heart, and it starts beating. And I’m sitting here and I’m looking at this fetus, and its heart is beating, and I don’t know what to think.”
- In the eighth video: StemExpress CEO Cate Dyer admits Planned Parenthood sells “a lot of” fully intact aborted babies.
- The ninth video: catches a Planned Parenthood medical director discussing how the abortion company sells fully intact aborted babies — including one who “just fell out” of the womb.
- The 10th video: catches the nation’s biggest abortion business selling specific body parts — including the heart, eyes and “gonads” of unborn babies.The video also shows the shocking ways in which Planned Parenthood officials admit that they are breaking federal law by selling aborted baby body parts for profit.
- Unreleased Videos: Unreleased videos from CMP show Deb Vanderhei of Planned Parenthood caught on tape talking about how Planned Parenthood abortion business affiliates may “want to increase revenue [from selling baby parts] but we can’t stop them…” Another video has a woman talking about the “financial incentives” of selling aborted baby body parts.
- The 11th video: catches a texas Planned Parenthood abortionist planning to sell the intact heads of aborted babies for research. Amna Dermish is caught on tape describing an illegal partial-birth abortion procedure to terminate living, late-term unborn babies which she hopes will yield intact fetal heads for brain harvesting.
The full, unedited videos have confirmed that revelations that some aborted baby remains sold by Planned Parenthood go to biotech companies for the purpose of creating “humanized” mice. Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood has been exposed as having sold body parts from aborted babies for as much as 15 years.
The federal law that technically prohibits the sale of aborted babies and their body parts was written by a pro-abortion Congressman decades ago and essentially spells out a process by which sellers of aborted baby body parts can meet certain criteria that allows the sales to be legal. That’s why a Colorado congressman has introduced legislation to totally ban the sales of aborted baby body parts.