The anti-abortion group Live Action, which has been releasing James O'Keefe-style undercover videos of Planned Parenthood offices over the past week (see here and here), posted its third video today, and Planned Parenthood is disputing its legitimacy.
Like the first two videos, shot at Planned Parenthood offices in New Jersey and Virginia, this one appears to show a worker counseling a pimp and prostitute (who are not actually a pimp and prostitute) on how to obtain sexual-health services for underage prostitutes who do not speak English and are not citizens. (In other words, likely victims of sex trafficking.)
Live Action is a group run by Lila Rose, a student activist at UCLA who has been shooting such videos of Planned Parenthood for some time, and who has worked with O'Keefe and hatched the idea to infiltrate clinics with him in 2006. The LA Times profiled her in 2009.
The latest video is perhaps less explosive than the New Jersey video, because it does not include any advice for the young prostitutes to lie about their ages or the ages of their sexual partners for the purpose of covering up statutory rape.
"So, we're involved in sex work," the fake pimp tells a Planned Parenthood desk-worker named Kristal. "We have some other girls that we manage and work with that they're gonna need testing as well. So do you guys see them or not?"
"'Cause they're fourteen and fifteen," the fake prostitute goes on to tell her.
Kristal tells them that Planned Parenthood will see them, and that "everything is totally confidential."
"We don't want them, you know, saying the wrong thing, you know, and gettin' refused or turned away," the pimp says at one point.
Kristal tells them the fake pimp and prostitute they can write letters claiming legal guardianship of the girls, as part of a paperwork process to obtain taxpayer-funded insurance. "Like, my name is so and so and I support--whatever, whatever, and just put, like contact information. They don't even call you."
The pimp again explains, to a nurse practitioner, that he manages prostitutes as young as thirteen. He asks her how they would obtain services.
"They just show up and set up an appointment," the practitioner says.
Planned Parenthood, which has already notified the FBI of these videos, calls several facts into question.
For one, it says that the videos were doctored, and that multiple sources of audio may have been included in the finished products.
From Planned Parenthood's statement responding to the videos today:
In an interview with the FBI, the two health center workers featured in the video said that they did not hear the words "sex work" or "sex worker," uttered by the actors on camera who were hired by Live Action to play the role of a "pimp" on the videotape in an effort to undermine the credibility of Planned Parenthood staff in Live Action's coordinated lobbying effort to support legislation that would bar Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funds.
In addition, it is clear from the edited tape that there are two or more video sources, as well as an additional audio source, increasing the opportunity for manipulation and selective editing.
Live Action, meanwhile, has posted what it claims to be the unedited version of the Bronx video. In it, the words "sex work" are clearly audible. (Having edited video myself, I can tell you that it's not always easy to discern whether audio has been spliced in from extraneous sources, so it's probably best not to speculate on that part of Planned Parenthood's statement.)
Rose had this to say about Planned Parenthood's claims:
This is now Planned Parenthood's fifth different response to the incriminating footage. Clearly they cannot keep their story straight. We have made full, unedited footage available from each clinic we've highlighted, and it is clear that Planned Parenthood staff are more than willing to aid and abet a self-identified sex trafficker with the exploitation of underage girls. Planned Parenthood's latest version of events is the most absurd yet. After announcing they will retrain their entire staff, Planned Parenthood then claims the footage is somehow doctored. They can't have it both ways, and their five different versions of events betray they know that they're guilty.
Find below the video, followed by the subsequent version offered by Live Action as unedited footage: