“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” – Charles Spurgeon
No. But, if you have been following the recent controversy that has plagued Planned Parenthood, you would have thought otherwise. Conservative anti-choice activists through the help of FOX News took a page from Russian Communist Leader, Vladimir Lenin, who once famously stated, “A lie told often enough becomes the truth.”
And that lie was told often enough that it prompted the exact reaction anti-choice activists hoped for when the Center for Medical Progress released heavily doctored “sting videos” that alleged to show Planned Parenthood engaging in alarming discussions regarding the sale of organs from aborted fetuses. The allegations were so damning that it prompted congressional investigation, public outcry, and a criminal investigation by the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.
Fortunately, the videos were deceiving and did not hold any truth regarding the allegations. In fact, forensic experts were asked to review the videos and determined that because the footage was “severely manipulated that they wouldn’t hold up in court.” And, that is exactly what happened.
In one of the most conservative counties of the most conservative state of the United States, a grand jury convened to investigate whether or not a Houston Planned Parenthood clinic had sold the organs of aborted fetuses. The result: No Bill, which is legal jargon for stating that the grand jury did not find cause to bring charges against Planned Parenthood. In other words, it cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrong doing. Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson noted, “In this case, an independent grand jury concluded that laws were broken and indictments followed.”
“It demonstrates what we have said from the very beginning […] Planned Parenthood is following every rule and regulation.” Rochelle Tafolla, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast
If you were to pick a grand jury in any county of the United States that you hoped would render a True Bill to charge Planned Parenthood, you would pick Harris County. But, the opposite happened. One must remember that an indictment has a low threshold; it is very easy to satisfy the requirements that would prompt a grand jury to return a true bill. In fact a judge once said that “a grand jury would ‘indict a ham sandwich,’ if that’s what you wanted.” There was just no evidence to support the allegations purported by anti-choice activist in their heavily manipulated videos which were released last summer.
As the truth finally put on its shoes six months later, the damage was done. Anti-choice activist lied to the American public and almost got away. The Republican led Texas state government stripped Planned Parenthood of money in response to the videos. It is sad to think that in order to push their right-wing agenda, some anti-choice activist are willing to comprise their values and lie to achieve their end goals. The lying liars that started this controversy did not leave empty handed for their efforts. The same Harris County Grand Jury that did not indict Planned Parenthood, decided to indict two of the anti-choice activists for second-degree felonies as a result of their deceptive actions.