Anti-Abortion Activists Who Secretly Filmed Planned Parenthood Hit With Felony Charges

Two anti-abortion activists who shot undercover videos of themselves trying to buy fetal tissue from Planned Parenthood in 2013-2015 face 15 felony charges, California prosecutors said Tuesday. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced the charges Tuesday against David Daleidan and Sandra Merritt, who run the Center for Medical Progress. Becerra said the pair used a bogus bioresearch company to set up Planned Parenthood workers and secretly record them. The pair used the videos to claim Planned Parenthood was selling fetal tissue from abortions for profit, though a subsequent investigation into those claims found no wrongdoing. Daleidan and Merritt are accused of filming 14 people without their consent between October 2013 and July 2015. They face one felony count for each person they covertly filmed, as well as a charge of criminal conspiracy. “The right to privacy is a cornerstone of California’s Constitution, and a right that is foundational in a free democratic society,” Becerra said in a statement after the charges were announced. “We will not tolerate the criminal recording of confidential conversations,” he said.