The two anti-abortion activists who made undercover videos that recorded planned parenthood conversations about fetal tissue have each been charged with 15 counts of a felony by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt of the Center for Medical Progress are charged with making the videos without permission. The deceptive videos were used to besmirch Planned Parenthood and damage the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton.

Not the only offense

The attorney general, a former Democratic congressman, assumed control of the investigation in January.

Yesterday he issued a statement that said the case was focused on the "criminal recording of conversations." The two had done a similar thing in Texas but the charges there were dropped.

According to the California case, Daleiden, of Davis, CA, and Merritt, of San Jose, videoed 14 persons without their knowledge from October 2013 until July 2015. The felony charges covered the 14 persons. The 15th charge was the criminal conspiracy to invade privacy. Daleiden told AP the charges are the work of "Planned Parenthood's political cronies."

Reviving the rap

Until now the right wing's war on Planned Parenthood has simmered. This case seems likely to rekindle the vigorous debate over abortion and the tactics that are appropriate to both sides.

Daleiden poses as "Robert Sarkis" in one of the videos that will be the basic evidence in this case. He poses as a representative of a fictitious company called Biomax Procurement Services.

The premise and the future

The premise of the accused is that the videos prove Planned Parenthood harvested and sold the organs. The organization argued it had done nothing wrong.

It cited numerous past investigations when they were cleared. The prospects for agreement on any matter regarding abortion in today's political atmosphere are limited. The California case is narrowly drawn, however. It is about the right to privacy when having a discussion. On that, there may be more agreement.

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