Planned Parenthood Videos

Sandra Merritt, left, smiles as she talks with David Daleiden outside of a courtroom in San Francisco, Monday, Feb. 11, 2019. Planned Parenthood has made an unusual legal demand to join California's criminal prosecution of two anti-abortion activists charged with invasion of privacy for secretly making videos as they tried to buy fetal material from the organization.

SAN FRANCISCO — Planned Parenthood has made an unusual legal demand to join California’s criminal prosecution of two anti-abortion activists charged with invasion of privacy for secretly making videos as they tried to buy fetal material from the organization.

A judge in San Fran­cisco will consider the issue Monday as well as a push by prosecutors to keep the names of 14 abor­tion-rights workers who ap­pear in the 2015 videos confidential.

The California attorney gen­eral in 2017 charged David Daleiden and San­dra Merritt of the Center for Medical Progress after Texas prosecutors dropped a similar case against them. The pair have plead­ed not guilty and argue they are undercover journalists shielded from pros­ecution.

Daleiden and Merritt were accused of secretly ma­king videos that Planned Parenthood ar­gued were heavily edited to unfairly show workers ag­ree­ing to sell fetal mat­er­ial for profit, which the group says it does not do. The videos led to three congressional in­quiries and criminal in­ves­tig­ations in at least 15 states.

Several abortion-rights workers plan to testify at another court hearing next week in San Francisco that will determine if there’s enough evidence for Daleiden and Merritt to face trial. Defense at­tor­neys say their names should be made public.

Planned Parenthood says it wants to join the pros­e­cution for the safety of the workers scheduled to testify.

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