LOS ANGELES — California prosecutors on Tuesday charged two anti-abortion activists who made undercover videos of themselves trying to buy fetal tissue from Planned Parenthood with 15 felonies, saying they invaded the privacy of medical providers by filming without consent.
State Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a former Democratic member of Congress, announced the charges against David Daleiden of Davis, California, and Sandra Merritt of San Jose. The two operate the Irvine-based Center for Medical Progress.
The allegations say the pair filmed 14 people without permission between October 2013 and July 2015 in Los Angeles, San Francisco and El Dorado counties. One felony count was filed for each person. The 15th was for criminal conspiracy to invade privacy.
Becerra says they used a fictitious bioresearch company to meet with women's health care providers and covertly record them.
Daleiden, in an email to the Associated Press, said the "bogus" charges are coming from "Planned Parenthood's political cronies."
Becerra served as a Democratic congressman from 1993 to 2017, when he resigned to take the post of AG. He had been chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.