Lila Rose vs. Planned Parenthood
The Virginia attorney general may investigate clinic following Live Action exposé. One clinic stands by its employees who allegedly counseled shady abortions.
BY WAYNE LAUGESEN
| Posted 2/9/11 at 12:56 PM
NEW YORK — Employees at a federally funded Planned Parenthood abortion business appear to aid and abet a self-described child-sex trafficker, telling the man how to get away with and pay for abortions for sex slaves as young as 13.
The man is told to present himself as “guardian” of the girls, and he is assured that his secret will be safe with Planned Parenthood.
The shocking conversations appear on the latest undercover video shot during a sting operation by Live Action Films, which has carried out undercover investigations of Planned Parenthood for the past five years. Live Action was founded by Lila Rose while she was a student at UCLA.
The latest video, shot on Jan. 14, shows a Live Action investigator telling employees of a Planned Parenthood business in the Bronx that he’s in a sex business involving young teenage girls, some of whom speak no English. He wants advice on obtaining abortions for any of the girls who may be pregnant or may get pregnant while working. (See the Register’s transcription of the video, below.)
This video comes on the heels of recent Live Action videos that indicated a similar willingness by Planned Parenthood employees in Virginia and New Jersey to aid and abet child-sex traffickers.
One video showed Amy Woodruff, manager of a Planned Parenthood abortion business in Perth Amboy, N.J., advising undercover Live Action investigators how they could get around laws that limit access to abortion and contraception by minors. Just as in New York, the investigators had presented themselves as managers of a sex-trade business involving young teenage girls.
Woodruff was fired.
“We have a zero-tolerance policy for this kind of behavior,” said Phyllis Kinsler, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Central New Jersey, in a Feb. 2 press release.
Employees Not Fired
But the New York and Virginia employees have not been fired, and attorneys for Live Action say Planned Parenthood seems more interested in finding a way to punish Rose for initiating sting operations against the organization.
“There is a continued insinuation by Planned Parenthood officials that what our client does is somehow wrong, even though these are the same investigative techniques you see from 60 Minutes or Dateline or any number of media organizations,” said Peter Breen, national counsel for Live Action Films. Breen works with the Thomas More Society, a law firm in Chicago with a mission “to restore respect for life in law.”
Legal threats from Planned Parenthood are nothing new for Rose. She posted videos to YouTube in 2007 that featured Planned Parenthood employees in Southern California telling an undercover investigator how he could get an abortion and contraceptives for the under-aged girlfriend he told them about. Planned Parenthood threatened Rose with prosecution, as California is among 16 states that prohibit the recording of conversations without two-party consent.
Breen said Planned Parenthood has sought legal protection from Live Action’s most recent investigations and tried to have YouTube remove one video on a claim that it violated the organization’s privacy for showing a Planned Parenthood logo that was videotaped inside of an abortion business.
When YouTube managers considered removing the video, the Thomas More Society sent them a letter explaining the video violated no privacy rights and did not violate YouTube’s own policies. The “YouTube Team” concurred, responding with a letter that said: “We’ve been unable to identify a ‘Community Guidelines’ violation with the content in question.”
Breen said he believes some of the latest videos are strong enough to result in legal repercussions, criminal and/or civil, for Planned Parenthood.
Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli concurs, telling Fox News on Feb. 6 that he may investigate Planned Parenthood as a result of the Live Action sting in his state. He expressed concerns about “an open willingness” of Planned Parenthood to participate in the “sex trafficking of minors.”
Erica Sackin, media relations coordinator for Planned Parenthood of New York, said no disciplinary action is expected as a result of the latest Live Action video.
“We firmly believe these accusations by Live Action are false,” Sackin said. “We believe they are misleading and inaccurate, and that the video was highly edited.”
A written statement provided by Sackin said “teen health and safety is our top priority.”
“Had the teens in question come into our center, they would have met with a licensed social worker,” the statement said. “All teens coming into Planned Parenthood of New York City are screened for child abuse and neglect. All teens who disclose abuse meet with a licensed social worker, who records and reports the abuse.”
Cuccinelli conceded during his Fox interview that he lacks “an actual case of it on film” — meaning a case that involves victims instead of actors pretending to run a sex-slave business.
“But what you do have is clearly an open willingness of several organizations, meaning subsidiaries of Planned Parenthood nationally in the same category, sex trafficking of minors, and an open willingness to participate in this,” Cuccinelli said.
Breen said authorities don’t need an actual case involved to pursue legal action against Planned Parenthood. Prosecutors routinely use actor-only sting operations as a basis for charging suspects in connection with the intent to participate in sexual abuse of children.
On NBC Dateline’s “To Catch a Predator,” young-adult actors contact suspected pedophiles and pretend to be teenagers willing to have sex. After a suspect exhibits an ample willingness to have sex with a child, police throw him to the ground and haul him away in handcuffs.
“Thanks to mainstream programs like 60 Minutes and Dateline NBC, undercover journalism has exposed some of the most repugnant wrongdoings that have afflicted our society,” Breen said.
Sackin, of Planned Parenthood of New York, said those associated with Live Action Films are “anti-choice activists” and not undercover journalists. The Supreme Court, however, makes no legal distinction between large, traditional media organizations and the nontraditional journalist, often referred to as “the lone pamphleteer.”
Register correspondent Wayne Laugesen writes from Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Transcript From Planned Parenthood Sting
The video begins with the testimony of a young woman speaking to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, explaining her previous enslavement by sex traffickers when she was a young teenager.
“Because I was so young, I was always in demand with the customers. It was awful. Eventually, I became pregnant, and I was forced to have an abortion. They sent me back to the brothel almost immediately.”
The video explains that sex trafficking is a federal crime punishable by 10 years to life, with aiding and abetting treated as an equally serious crime.
The video transitions to two undercover investigators for Live Action Films presenting themselves on Jan. 14 to a Planned Parenthood employee in New York City. The man acts like a nervous pimp, and the woman portrays a prostitute. The two explain they’re involved in a sex-trade business that involves young teenage girls. They ask for advice on getting abortions for the girls, and they get it:
Pimp: So, we’re involved in sex work. So we have some other girls that we manage to work with, that they’re gonna need testing as well. So do you guys see them — or?
PP: Yeah, we see …
Prostitute, interrupting: “Teen services.”
PP: Yeah, yeah.
PP: Yeah, we see people as young as, like, 13 years old.
Prostitute: What? How old?
PP: We see people as young as 13, and everything is confidential.
Pimp: As young as 13?
Prostitute: ’Cause they’re — cause they’re 14 and 15 and …
PP: Yeah, everything is totally confidential. They could come in, make the appointments — I can give you guys the numbers if you make the appointments over the phone.
PP: Or you’d have to come in and speak to one of us, and we could set up the appointments.
PP: And, and if you guys don’t have insurance, we have a family-planning benefit for them. And mostly everybody qualifies for that. Like, that goes based on income, but, like, all students, all minors, they get, like, what a medical bill will be on a sliding scale, ’cause it goes from A to D — so sliding scale A is free, and then it just starts going up slowly.
Pimp: Cool, cool, cool.
Prostitute: And then … They don’t speak English ’cause they just came in. They just got here, so …
PP: That’s all right. I’m bilingual. I’m always here. I speak Spanish, and we also have other languages. We have CyraCom, where we call the phone, and we have any other languages.
Pimp: Cool, cool, cool, cool. So how would you recommend for them to best do it? ’Cause we don’t want them getting confused, or what not, and, you know, it’s kind of a sensitive subject, so we don’t want, you know, them saying the wrong thing, you know, and getting refused or turned away. So?
PP: Yeah, like — and like I said, everything’s confidential. They don’t have to tell anybody what it is that they do when they’re making the appointment. It’s just gonna be between them and the physician that they see.
Pimp: Okay, okay.
PP: Just come in. Let us know what you want. Uh, like we do need to know what the appointment’s for — whether it’s gonna be testing, abortions. Is there any particular pain they’re having or something, ’cause we also do GYN exams, and we do annual exams, which cover everything or just testing, so we’re not gonna ask them specific — all that: “Is something burning? Is something itching?”
Pimp: What if they don’t — what if they’re not a resident here?
PP: If they’re?
Pimp: What if they’re not a resident?
PP: That’s fine. Like, for our benefit program, they do require they bring in some documents. But if they don’t have it, we just ask that they bring whatever they can bring.
Pimp: Just whatever they have?
Prostitute: A photo ID or something?
PP: Yeah. We ask them to bring a photo ID, proof of address, proof of income, and …
Pimp: Proof of income?
PP: That’s it — and birth certificate.
Pimp: They have like a nine-to-five job, you know, so?
PP: Yeah, they’re not — yeah, they’re not working. Or they even might work in an after-school program that’s considered unemployed, so they can have, like, a family member or friend or one of you guys, yeah, write them a letter saying …
Pimp, interrupting: We could find somebody. We could find somebody.
Prostitute: You wouldn’t need to know if they work at night or what they do or whatever?
Prostitute: Yeah, okay; they do the sex work at night.
PP interrupting: None of that. We don’t need to know anything. Everything is totally confidential.
PP: Just, like, you could even write the letter — statement.
Prostitute: Oh, oh, good.
PP: Like, my name is so-and-so and I support — whatever, whatever and just put, like, contact information. They don’t even call you.
Prostitute: They don’t?
PP: They just ask for contact, contact information, but no one calls you. And just sign and date it.
Prostitute: Okay. Okay, so, ID and …
PP: And whatever you don’t have — they could just bring in whatever they do have. Just speak to them, and I’m sure they can work around it.
Prostitute: Okay, good. Good, oh, good. It could work out.
Pimp: And, uh. Let me see, is that it?
Prostitute: I — I think that covers a lot. That answers a lot of questions.
PP: Yeah, ’cause there’s, like, a lot of different situations, you know — you know, with foster care and stuff like, you know — kids in foster care can’t get their hands on their documents and like …
Pimp: That’s true; that’s true.
PP: Kids that are hiding things from their parents. ’Cause everything’s all about confidentiality here.
Pimp: See, so, we could just say that. We could just say that — something like that.
Prostitute: ’Cause they don’t have, you know …
Prostitute: Parents or anything.
Prostitute: They just came over; they’re workin’ with us. And we’re helpin’ them out. We wanna keep them safe, you know?
PP: Yeah, ’cause, like if …
Pimp, interrupting: Could we even sign off as guardians? Is that possible?
PP: If you were writing their support letter, yeah, you could sign that; you just take care of them — you support them.
Prostitute: Oh, good.
PP: Uh-huh. But nothing here, like, they’re not our patients — we don’t ask for a guardian’s signature. Everything is the patient; like, a 13-year-old could come in and get the services she needed by herself.
Pimp: So we just do it like that?
Pimp: Okay. That works, that works, that works. What was your name again? You helped us out a lot.
PP: My name is Kristal.
Pimp: Kristal, Kristal. All right.
Transition: Pimp meets woman in hallway wearing white lab coat and asks her questions. Conversation follows:
Pimp: Are you a physician here?
PP: No, I’m one of the practitioners here.
Pimp: Oh, Okay, okay. Um, I was wonderin’ — um — I had a — do you have a moment?
Pimp: I was wonderin’ — um, so like, like — uh, is it — is it still confidential?
Pimp: Okay, all right. We’re involved in sex work.
Pimp: We have some girls that are kinda young — they’re like 14, 15 — that they might need an abortion.
Pimp: And how is the best way — should they be able to go about that?
PP: They just show up and set up an appointment.
Pimp: Yeah. Okay.
PP: Do they have insurance?
Pimp: They don’t have insurance. Some of them don’t even really speak that good of English ’cause they, you know, they just got here, so …
PP: Right. So we have — and we have an interpretation, um, phone, so if they don’t speak Spanish, that’s not a prob — I mean if they don’t speak English, that’s not a problem.
PP: ’Cause we can have an interpreter.
PP: We can call ’em, but we also have a staff here, that they’re trained to interpret.
Pimp: Yeah, like some of ’em are, like, Thai or something like that, so they really don’t even speak Spanish, like …
PP: They don’t — but we do have a phone system that supports a lot of languages. That may be one of them.
Pimp: Cool, cool, cool, cool.
PP: Umm, in terms of insurance, um, they would probably speak to one of our entitlement people to get them set up with some insurance.
Pimp: Okay, okay, okay.
PP: They don’t have to be citizens to get the insurance, and it’s — it is confidential.
Pimp: Do you, um — and if they don’t have, like, their information and all that?
PP: Yeah. You, um, do you have our number to call, ’cause they could tell you what documents …
Pimp: I think we did get the card.
Prostitute: We did. We talked to Kristal.
PP: Yeah, so you call, and you tell ’em that, and they’ll tell you what documents to bring in. But it doesn’t have to be like a green — they don’t have to be citizens to qualify.
Pimp: Okay. Thank you, thank you. That’s good information.
PP: You’re welcome.
Pimp: I’m sorry, uh, what was your name again?
Pimp: Marquita. Thank you.
PP: I’m a clinical supervisor.
Pimp: You’re a clinical supervisor?
Pimp: Okay, all right. Thank you.
PP: You’re welcome.
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