Planned Parenthood: the Right’s next ACORN?

by David Safier

The Andrew Breitbart/James O'Keefe crowd are at it again. Awhile back, by putting together a carefully edited video of visits to ACORN creating the impression of a rogue organization, they pretty much ended ACORN's existence. Now they're using the same tactics against Planned Parenthood.

A group called Live Action released a secretly recorded video of a Planned Parenthood employee talking to someone posing as a client who asked for STD testing and access to abortions for underage prostitutes. People with hidden videos apparently visited at least 11 Planned Parenthood health centers in a number of states over the period of a few days and came up with a video where an employee appears to agree to help. If that employee actually acted as the tape shows, that is against all Planned Parenthood rules. The organization's policy is to report to the authorities any situation where a minor is in danger or at risk.

In fact, according to a statement from Planned Parenthood, the organization had already reported these encounters to  U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. It was through the reporting process that they realized the visits were probably a hoax.

Over a five day period, visitors to Planned Parenthood health centers in six states said they were seeking information from Planned Parenthood about health services Planned Parenthood could provide to underage girls who were part of a sex trafficking ring.  Subsequent to alerting U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Planned Parenthood learned the identify of one of those involved and believes these visits are likely a hoax by opponents of legal abortion seeking to discredit Planned Parenthood, which delivers preventive health care and abortion services to three million women each year.

Men, sometimes accompanied by a woman, have visited at least 11 Planned Parenthood health centers in six states within a one-week time frame.  During their visits, they claimed to be involved in sex trafficking of teens, some of whom are in the United States illegally.  These men appeared at health centers without appointments and said that they were seeking health services for themselves, but they quickly turned the conversation to the sex ring they said they were managing. 

"When Planned Parenthood learns of an operation that exploits young women, we vigilantly work with law enforcement authorities to uncover and stop this abhorrent activity," said Stuart Schear, PPFA vice president for communications.  "Planned Parenthood’s top priority is the health and safety of our patients and the health and well-being of women and teens across the country, and we have been in contact with federal and local authorities to identify the persons involved in these visits."

The person behind this latest sting is Lila Rose. She has been associated with James O'Keefe who created the ACORN videos and was arrested for trying to tap phones in Mary Landrieu's office. She has received funding from The Leadership Institute ("Training Conservative Leaders") and help from the PR firm that helped push the Swiftboat Veterans campaign against Kerry. She is very well connected.

According to Planned Parenthood, people have been taping at Planned Parenthood clinics over a five year period in a number of states, including in Arizona.

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