Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Christine Emerson
Observer Staff Writer 

Couple who Outed Planned Parenthood, Cleared of Illegally Buying Body Parts

Sandra "Susan" Merritt and David Daleiden cleared of charges in State of Texas

 

August 1, 2016

Susan Merritt and David Daleiden were both members of an anti-abortion group called Center for Medical Progress (CMP). Posing as representatives of an actually-fictional company they called Biomax, the pair met with Planned Parenthood officials

Charges were dismissed for both defendants in the Planned Parenthood surreptitious video incident. Both Sandra "Susan" Merritt and David Daleiden had been charged by the state of Texas with trafficking in human organs. The charges were dismissed by Judge Diane Bull on July 26.

Merritt and Daleiden were both members of an anti-abortion group called Center for Medical Progress (CMP). Posing as representatives of an actually-fictional company they called Biomax, the pair met with Planned Parenthood officials in a supposed effort to purchase fetal tissue. According to CMP, the videos they released during 2015 show Planned Parenthood personnel willing to accept money for fetal tissues, allegedly in order to compensate for the cost of harvesting it.

The CMP claim the videos show, among others, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, a Senior Director of Medical Services for Planned Parenthood, discussing her method of abortion over lunch with Merritt and Daleiden. "We've been very good at getting heart, lung, liver," Nucatola told them, "because we know that, so I'm not gonna crush that part, I'm basically gonna crush below, I'm gonna crush above, and I'm gonna see if I can get it all intact."

Susan Merritt and David Daleiden were both members of an anti-abortion group called Center for Medical Progress (CMP). Posing as representatives of an actually-fictional company they called Biomax, the pair met with Planned Parenthood officials.

In another video, a former employee of StemExpress, Holly O'Donnell, claims she was told by her managers to encourage women to sign consent forms for their fetuses to be harvested for medical research. She claims that even when consent was not given, fetuses' tissue was gathered and donated. Meanwhile, the New England Journal of Medicine implicitly implicated Planned Parenthood by applauding their "efforts to channel fetal tissue" toward medical research.

Spokespeople for Planned Parenthood deny all allegations and claim the videos were either heavily edited or falsified. Nevertheless, in October, 2015, Planned Parenthood announced they would no longer accept reimbursement costs for fetal tissue.

While the released videos stimulated widespread public outcry and calls for the federal government to investigate the methods of Planned Parenthood, Texas decided to charge the pair of undercover videographers criminally in January, 2016.

Upon dismissal of the criminal charges, Matt Staver, Chairman of Liberty Counsel, legal representative for Sandra Merritt, said, "The indictment was politically-motivated and should never have been filed in the first place."

 

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