As with a lot Andrew Breitbart does, it's wise to exercise a healthy dose of skepticism. The conservative media mogul who brought the world the Shirley Sherrod non-scandal, is now hosting a new undercover video about Planned Parenthood. In the video, a Planned Parenthood worker appears disturbingly eager to help two people receive abortions for 14 and 15-year-old girls without going through any legal provisions. When speaking with Planned Parenthood, the couple also suggests that the young girls are prostitutes. Despite that, the worker happily recommends an abortion provider that has less strict "protocols" regarding their age and identification
The undercover job was carried out by pro-life activist Lila Rose for the group Live Action. The group released the following edited video followed by these two videos they say are the full unedited tapes:
Today, Planned Parenthood offered the following response:
Planned Parenthood insists on the highest standards of care, and safeguards the trusted relationship we have with patients, families and communities. What appears on edited tapes made public today is not consistent with Planned Parenthood's practices, and is under review. Phyllis Kinsler, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Central New Jersey (PPCNJ), has stated that, "the behavior of our employee, as portrayed on the video, if accurate, violates PPCNJ policies, as well as our core values of protecting the welfare of minors and complying with the law, and appropriate action is being taken."
Additionally, Planned Parenthood says its offices caught wind of Live Actions tactics and contacted the FBI about an illegal sex trafficking operation. Whether or not the woman who appeared in the video contacted the FBI is not known. Here's what's buzzing in the blogosphere:
- Kathryn Jean Lopez at National Review:
When asked how long a girl might have to wait to get back to the work of the sex trade after an abortion, two weeks minimum is the answer. He protests, “We’ve still got to make money.” The clinic worker understands his predicament and so advises that the girls can still work “Waist up, or just be that extra action walking by” to advertise the girls who are still at full-body work. It’s chilling. It’s ridiculous...
- Jeremy Schulman at Media Matters: "Even if Live Action's video doesn't take the employee out of context, the incident obviously doesn't show Planned Parenthood covering up child sex trafficking. That's because Planned Parenthood has already reported the 'potential sex trafficking' to law enforcement officials."
- Ed Morrissey at Hot Air:
It seems that the national office figured out what happened — but that doesn’t explain the enthusiasm with which this clinic advised the undercover reporters, nor of the manager’s offer to personally streamline the process for the putative pimp, either. Plus, if she played along with the pair, why then refer them to MMA for abortions because MMA doesn’t get audited stringently?
- Jed Lewison at Daily Kos:
Rose isn't going to get anywhere with her fraud. The only question is which is worse: falsely accusing Planned Parenthood of complicity in a child sex ring or forcing authorities to divert resources from pursuing real crimes while they investigate whether her hoax was, in fact, a hoax. Either way, the only thing her actions accomplish is to further discredit the playbook of clowns like Andrew Breitbart.
- Rachel Slajda at Talking Points Memo:
At least one of Live Action's campaigns against Planned Parenthood turned up actual wrongdoing. At a clinic in Indiana in 2009, an employee was fired and another resigned after Live Action released video of them saying they wouldn't report it when Rose, posing as a 13-year-old, said her 31-year-old boyfriend impregnated her.