Planned Parenthood

Anti-abortion activist who recorded ‘sting videos’ turns himself in at Texas courthouse

David Daleiden speaks to the media after appearing in court. (Eric Kayne/Getty Images)

David Daleiden, the anti-abortion activist who recorded and released ‘sting’ videos of Planned Parenthood, turned himself in at Harris County courthouse last Thursday as he prepares to face charges that he tampered with a government record and attempted to purchase human organs. Houston prosecutors have offered him a deal for probation, but Daleiden’s legal team is talking tough, with lawyer Terry Yates going so far as to say that “the only thing we’re going to accept right now is an apology.”

Daleiden has admitted to using a fake California driver’s license, but his lawyers argue that it’s not a crime because he did so in the cause of investigative journalism. They argue the same First Amendment protection also applies to charges related to Dalieden’s attempt to buy fetal tissue from Planned Parenthood through email. According to University of Texas law professor David Anderson, however, legal precedent says the First Amendment will not protect crimes committed in the course of newsgathering.

Devon Anderson, the Republican District Attorney who indicted Daleiden, has been accused by pro-lifers of betraying her own anti-abortion convictions because of campaign contributions from abortion rights supporters. Anderson says the indictments are nothing more than the grand jury following the evidence uncovered by law enforcement.

Read the full story at NPR.

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