The Brief: Planned Parenthood Videos Yield Indictments

Posted by Jacob Sanchez and John Reynolds - The Texas Tribune on

The Big Conversation

An investigation in Harris County into allegations that Planned Parenthood was illegally selling fetal tissue yielded indictments on Monday against the makers of undercover recordings of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Houston.

Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast in Houston, meanwhile, was cleared of breaking any laws, reported the Tribune’s Alexa Ura.

A series of undercover videos made of Planned Parenthood officials nationwide discussing how they obtain fetal tissue for research became a focal point of anti-abortion activists last year and spurred the Republican leadership in this state to initiate investigations into Planned Parenthood.

“Among the undercover videos were recordings of staff at Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, where two abortion foes in April misrepresented themselves as research executives and provided fake California drivers’ licenses,” Ura wrote. “The videographers visited the facility last April ‘under the guise of discussing tissue research with our clinic research staff,’ according to Planned Parenthood.”

Planned Parenthood clinics in Texas do not currently donate tissue for medical research, Ura wrote.

The state’s Republican leaders said late Monday afternoon that the grand jury action would not end the state’s own investigation into Planned Parenthood.

“Nothing about today’s announcement in Harris County impacts the state’s ongoing investigation," Gov. Greg Abbott said in statement. "The State of Texas will continue to protect life, and I will continue to support legislation prohibiting the sale or transfer of fetal tissue.”

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