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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


In fight over abortion not everything is fair, says Feds

Jesus Barrera
A view of the Planned Parenthood building located at 2255 N. Wyatt Drive on Monday afternoon. A Grand Jury in Texas indicted two anti-abortion activists for shooting undercover Planned Parenthood videos.

Texas courts indicted two videographers from a pro-life organization on Jan. 25, following an investigation of the firm.

Planned Parenthood facilities have been under investigation since a pro-life group from the Center for Medical Progress in Texas released a series of videos alleging them to have illegally sold aborted fetal tissue.

Kat Sabine, executive director for NARAL Pro-Choice Arizona,said that the two pro-life activists, David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, were charged for tampering with a governmental record and Daleiden for violation of the law prohibiting the purchase or sale of human — which happens to be the same accusation he was making of Planned Parenthood.

According to a Texas law, section 48.02, the purchase and sale of human organs is illegal. Daleiden misrepresented himself as an agent for a company attempting to purchase fetal tissue.

Anna Keene, president of VOX, a Planned Parenthood support group at the UA, said the entire investigation has caused controversy and forced people to think about reproductive justice.She believed that the two videographers were wrong and that, “they deserve to have legal action taken against them because their actions perpetuate misinformation.”

Cal Keegan, Southern Arizona liaison for Arizona Right to Life,said that he is glad they did it and were able to get their message across, but the fact that they could be facing up to 20 years in prison is unfortunate.

“They saw something wrong that was going on and decided to take action on it, but it is against the law,” Keegan said.

Another matter that has been a theme throughout the investigation is the inspection of how the clinic utilizes the federal funds it receives.

Sabine says that stopping federal funding would deprive women of the women’s-specific health care that Planned Parenthood provides, and that taxpayer dollars have had nothing to do with the support of abortion costs since a law was passed in 1976.

Keegan opposes this statement and says that it is difficult to recognize that Planned Parenthood provides any other necessary health examinations considering that the main service it is known to provide is abortion.

“Cecile Richards, [president] of Planned Parenthood, even admitted in a senate hearing that there were no mammogram services provided in any of the facilities,” Keegan said.

Following the release of the surreptitious videos in July 2015, a terror attack occurred at a Planned Parenthood center in November 2015 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Sabine says that the actions that took place in Colorado were a direct result of videos that were intended to stir up terrorism.

“The videographers understood very well what they were doing and did not mind the collateral damage of lives lost because of it,” Sabine said.

Although the jury has decided to clear Planned Parenthood of the accusation of the selling of fetal tissue and instead to indict the two pro-life activists behind it all, it may be possible that the investigation of Planned Parenthood will continue.

Keegan recalls that the district of attorney in Texas said that the indictment of the two is not going to stop the investigation of Planned Parenthood.

“If planned parenthood doesn’t get indicted for anything like [the sale of fetal tissue], there are still disturbing videos out there of them talking about butchering unborn children and making some money off of it,” he said.

It is likely that Planned Parenthood will continue to be investigated in certain states. Keene believes Arizona, because of its general legislative and political views, is one of them. She says that investigations like this are an unfortunate reality.

“These investigations make people nervous to go into Planned Parenthood for fear of harassment and lack of privacy, which is unfair because it is perfectly legal,” she said.

Follow Mackenzie Boulter on Twitter.

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