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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — An anti-abortion activist who made undercover videos at Planned Parenthood clinics said in a social media posting that California Department of Justice agents raided his home Tuesday.
Agents seized all video footage from his apartment, along with his personal information, David Daleiden said in a Facebook post. Daleiden, the founder of a group called the Center for Medical Progress, said agents left behind documents that he contends implicate Planned Parenthood in illegal behavior related to the handling of fetal tissue.
Center for Medical Progress spokesman Peter Robbio confirmed the social media posting is authentic, but he declined further comment. He said Daleiden lives in Orange County.
Rachele Huennekens, a spokeswoman for state Attorney General Kamala Harris, said in an email that she can’t comment on any ongoing investigation.
Harris said in July that she planned to review the undercover videos to see if center violated any state charity registration or reporting requirements. She said that could include whether Daleiden and a colleague impersonated representatives of a fake biomedical company or filmed the videos without Planned Parenthood’s consent.
Harris, a Democrat, is running for the U.S. Senate. Daleiden suggested in the social media posting that the raid was politically motivated because Harris has accepted campaign contributions from Planned Parenthood.
Texas authorities initially began a grand jury investigation of Planned Parenthood after the undercover videos were released in August. When the video was posted Planned Parenthood responded by denying any involvement in the sale of fetus body parts. Officials said the organization often donates tissue for scientific research with the full consent of its patients.
Eric Ferrero, Planned Parenthood’s Vice President of Communications, issued a written statement in 2015 that said, in part –
“A well funded group established for the purpose of damaging Planned Parenthood’s mission and services has promoted a heavily edited, secretly recorded videotape that falsely portrays Planned Parenthood’s participation in tissue donation programs that support lifesaving scientific research. Similar false accusations have been put forth by opponents of abortion services for decades. These groups have been widely discredited and their claims fall apart on closer examination, just as they do in this case.”
The grand jury cleared Planned Parenthood of misusing fetal tissue and indicted Daleiden and a colleague, Sandra Merritt, in January on charges including using fake driver’s licenses to get into a Houston clinic.
Daleiden previously said his group followed the law in making the videos. His post Tuesday called the raid an “attack on citizen journalism” and said he will “pursue all remedies to vindicate our First Amendment rights.”
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