LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 12: Planned Parenthood patients, volunteers and supporters rally outside the office of Assembly Speaker-elect John Perez to oppose cuts to family planning funds by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on January 12, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. The Republican governor continues slash the state budget and is calling for an additional $8.5 billion in cuts. He is also asking for $6.9 billion in federal funds warning that state health and welfare programs will be threatened without the emergency funds. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
In politics timing is everything and the timing of the most recent video released by the group Liveaction.org has only intensified the abortion debate in Washington. The clip, posted on youtube.com shows Planned Parenthood workers in the Bronx seemingly giving help and advice to sex workers.
In the undercover footage seems to show a man and woman posing as a “pimp” and “prostitute” tell a receptionist at a Bronx Planned Parenthood that they are “involved in sex work” and that they need a place to get abortions for their workers, some who are as young as 14 or 15 and who do not speak English. The receptionist says that they see girls as young as 13 and that everything is confidential.
The video is supposed to be proof that Planned Parenthood in some way supports or at the very least is willing to look the other way when it comes to the sexual exploitation of young girls.
It’s the 6th video by Liveaction.org wherein undercover actors hope to catch the organization breaking the law. While Liveaction.org’s President Lila Rose would not answer a question asking whether the groups ultimate goal was to get Planned Parenthood federally de-funded and abortion outlawed, the video is only adding fuel to the fight over abortion rights in Congress.
“I think people are going to get very upset and are getting upset”, said Rose. “I think Congress is going to get upset and take action, but our goal is to expose it.”
New York Councilmember Jessica Lappin defends Planned Parenthood and what she calls their 90-year record in New York City.
“If an underage woman or a woman that shows signs of abuse comes in and they are seen, they are reported as was case here,” said Lappin.
Planned parenthood has not fired or punished the women seen in the Bronx video. They say the incident was immediately reported to the FBI. In a statement the clinic denies the workers heard the words “sex work” or “sex worker”, saying, “The truth is that Live Action has a history of doctoring video, making false claims and has no credibility.”
Still, Planned Parenthood promises to re-train all of its employees on the issue of abuse. But the damage may already have been done. House Republicans currently have two bills on the table to restrict federal funding for abortions. One is the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” in which 300 million in funding would be cut.
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