A grand jury's decision to indict anti-abortion activists in a bogus undercover video case will ideally cause others to reconsider politicizing a complex issue.
The videos, which supposedly showed abortion providers illegally or at least callously discussing the handling of fetal tissue in Planned Parenthood clinics, generated hysteria among Republican politicians, who have tried to deny federal funding to the organization, which provides valuable health care services for women. The Houston grand jury Monday found no wrongdoing on the part of Planned Parenthood but indicted anti-abortion activists from the ironically named Center for Medical Progress on charges of tampering with a government record, a felony, and a misdemeanor count related to purchasing human organs.
The videos, which were edited before release, were designed to show that Planned Parenthood sold fetal tissue for a profit in violation of federal law. Planned Parenthood in fact rejected an offer of $1,600 for fetal tissue from a fake company called BioMax. Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson, a Republican, said his office was called upon to investigate allegations of wrongdoing against Planned Parenthood and followed where the evidence led.
The dishonest political response was best personified by Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, who claimed one of the videos showed "a fully formed fetus on the table its heart beating its legs kicking while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain." No such video has emerged.
Abortion is the law of land, and the number can be reduced through sex education and readily available contraception — both of which those who oppose abortion routinely oppose. Conniving anti-abortion groups and craven pols contribute nothing.