Journalist Jailed for Exposing Planned Parenthood’s Crimes in Undercover Video

Earlier in the year, 15 felonies were filed against 62-year old grandma, Sandra Merritt, an associate at the Center for Medical Progress. Her crime? Filming 14 people in a public place without consent, along with conspiracy to invade privacy. Xavier Becerra, the attorney general of California, filed the charges.

“This is complete legal lunacy that they would be charging this,” declared attorney Matt Heffron.

Heffron, who works for the Thomas More Society, a not-for-profit national public interest law firm, has also stated that the laws of the California Penal Code that Merritt is accused of breaking are only applicable in instances where conversations are “reasonably” expected to be private and does not include conversations that take place in public.

The saga started in 2015 when the Center for Medical Progress released video footage of undercover meetings with employees from Planned Parenthood. Merritt, along with David Daleiden, the founder of Center for Medical Progress, were responsible for the undercover investigation. The videos were made to prove that abortion providers profit from the sale of baby body parts and donated tissue from aborted babies.

Regarding the undercover videos, Heffron has said that the California statute that makes it illegal to record confidential communication does not include conversations that are recorded in a public setting. “It was never intended for journalists or for undercover reporting.”

Heffron also argues that the same law that Merritt has been charged with breaking, did not apply to animal rights activists when they shot an undercover video in 2015 showing how animals were being brutally mistreated at a slaughterhouse in California.

While many people are calling what Daleiden and Merritt did was the work of activists, Heffron has stated that the videos were produced by journalists. “You don’t have to work for CBS or ABC or CNN or whoever to call yourself a journalist,” he said.

The pro-life community has hailed both Daleiden and Merritt as truth-telling heroes.

In early May, Merritt turned herself in to the California authorities to make her first appearance in criminal court. She was searched, handcuffed and incarcerated. Twelve hours, three judges and an outrageous bail amount of $75,000 later, she was released. If convicted, the State of California will sentence her to 11 years in jail.

Merritt is being represented by Liberty Counsel, a nonprofit litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to defending religious freedom and the sanctity of human life, along with other pro-family issues.

Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel said, “The California Attorney General has overstepped the law by bringing these baseless charges. Sandra Merritt did not violate any law.”

“The political prosecution against Susan Merritt is a brazen attack on the First Amendment itself, which imperils the critical work done by undercover journalists day in and day out,” stated Horatio Mihet, Liberty Counsel’s Vice President of Legal Affairs and Chief Litigation Counsel who appeared with Merritt in court.

On May 9, Liberty Counsel began an online movement called “I Stand with Sandra” so that citizens could show their support for Merritt. They stated it was a way to “inspire confidence in this grandmother who has helped to expose the murderous baby-killing Planned Parenthood in their nefarious for-profit murder of live babies to sell the most viable human body parts to human researchers.”

So far, just over 31,000 people have shown their support by signing the “StandWithSandra” statement of support. Liberty Counsel hopes to rally at least 50,000 people.

“This is one of the most outrageous attacks I have ever seen. And it’s why I am more determined than ever to win and turn back this attack by Planned Parenthood and its backers”, said Staver.

On Friday, May 26, lawyers from Liberty Counsel filed a motion to dismiss the case against Merritt. On the same day, the Center for Medical Progress released another video showing Planned Parenthood abortion providers speaking openly about the practice of abortion and harvesting baby body parts.

The recently-released footage was from an abortion trade show at a National Abortion Federation conference. The video showed a compilation of comments made by abortion workers, including abortionists admitting that what they do is “killing” and how hard it actually is to tear a fetus apart. That video was immediately censored by a federal judge and was removed from YouTube for “violating YouTube’s Terms of Service.”

~ Christian Patriot Daily


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