Abortion foes indicted over Planned Parenthood videos

By Alex Bregman

Former Texas state Sen. and Hillary Clinton supporter Wendy Davis joined Yahoo News and Finance Anchor Bianna Golodryga to talk about the Texas grand jury decision to clear Planned Parenthood of wrongdoing related to undercover videos posted by the Center for Medical Progress. The grand jury instead indicted the center’s founder, David Daleiden, on a felony charge of tampering with a governmental record and a misdemeanor charge related to purchasing human organs, and indicted center employee Sandra Merritt with the same felony charge.

Davis told Golodryga she “wasn’t surprised” that Planned Parenthood was cleared. “We expected that that would be the case. What was surprising was that they went one step further,” she said. “The grand jury actually pointed to the real criminals here: the center that David Daleiden runs and that is standing under indictment for having falsely tampered with government evidence and also having attempted to procure against the law the fetal tissue that they decry Planned Parenthood for purportedly attempting to sell, which, of course was not the case.”

On the impact of the undercover videos on Planned Parenthood’s image, Davis said: “I think people understand that this is part of a political conversation, and the sad part of it is that real women across this country and in the state of Texas particularly are being impacted by it not only losing their right to constitutionally protected safe and legal abortion, but also the dramatic disinvestment, defunding of Planned Parenthood that has occurred in Texas and elsewhere, which has left women in Texas and elsewhere without access to about 95 to 97 percent of the other work that Planned Parenthood does.”

Davis also weighed in on the debate surrounding Planned Parenthood and abortion on the 2016 campaign trail and whether pro-abortion activists have a plan to counter the potential election of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. “I have greater faith in the American people than that,” she said. “I don’t believe that contingency plan, but I will tell you: I hope that people are paying attention to the consequences of that kind of rhetoric. It’s rhetoric that’s aimed at garnering votes, and sadly it shows that people like Ted Cruz have absolutely no regard for the health impacts that are created by so many people across this country when he articulates positions like that.”

Cruz is currently running an ad against frontrunner Donald Trump highlighting Trump’s positions on abortion. Davis told Golodryga, “It’s sad that pro-choice has become a calling card in the Republican Party — that those that are supportive of choice are somehow demonized. Obviously Donald Trump has changed his tune about that in the context of this particular presidential contest, but the reality is that while that may play in the Republican primary and that may be a way to garner the most extreme Republican vote that they’re out there competing for, in the general election, that will be something I believe harms these candidates.”

Davis, who will campaign for Clinton this week, also addressed the candidate’s current polling gap among young voters against opponent Sen. Bernie Sanders. “I’m 52 years old and I have a long memory and a strong memory of all that Hillary has done for us, and I think it’s only a matter of time before more and more young people understand and do not take for granted the history she’s had fighting not just for reproductive rights but fighting to make sure that we have affordable access to higher education, fighting against big insurance companies, large pharmaceutical companies, representing us incredibly well on the world stage and demonstrating her competency to become a world leader and a world player on day one when she’s elected as our next president.”