David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt of the Center for Medical Progress were charged with 15 felonies by state Attorney General Xavier Becerra.

The pro-life activists who accused Planned Parenthood of selling the human remains of the unborn were charged by California prosecutors Tuesday with recording people without consent during the undercover investigation into the nation’s largest abortion provider.

“The right to privacy is a cornerstone of California’s Constitution, and a right that is foundational in a free democratic society,” Mr. Becerra said in a statement. “We will not tolerate the criminal recording of confidential conversations.”

The pro-life activists are charged with criminal conspiracy to invade privacy and 14 counts of filming people without their permission in Los Angeles, San Francisco and El Dorado counties.

Mr. Daleiden disputed the charges and said they were brought by “Planned Parenthood’s political cronies.”

He also pointed out that similar charges brought by Houston prosecutors in response to his investigation were thrown out.

“The bogus charges from Planned Parenthood’s political cronies are fake news,” Mr. Daleiden said in a statement. “They tried the same collusion with corrupt officials in Houston, TX and failed: both the charges and the DA were thrown out.”

The Center for Medical Progress published 12 secretly recorded videos in 2015 showing top executives at Planned Parenthood and others in the abortion industry discussing the sale of fetal tissue from abortions.

The videos built momentum behind an effort to defund Planned Parenthood that could be realized by the Republican-controlled Congress this year.

As a part of the undercover investigation, Mr. Daleiden and Ms. Merritt posed as officials at a fake fetal tissue procurement firm called BioMax and used fake government identification.

Kamala Harris, now a Democratic U.S. senator, began the investigation into the Center for Medical Progress when she was California attorney general. To replace her after her 2016 election, Gov. Jerry Brown picked Mr. Becerra, who had been was a Democratic member of the U.S. House and part of the caucus’s leadership team.

Mr. Daleiden accused the former attorney general of conducting a raid of his apartment in April, during which he said authorities unlawfully seized video footage related to the Planned Parenthood investigation.

The pro-life activists were also charged with felonies by Houston prosecutors for tampering with government records. Those charges were dropped in July.

Source: The Washington Times


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