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Setting new records in the art of callousness towards women

By Amanda Marcotte
Tuesday, January 25, 2011 22:11 EDT
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Some of you may not know, but James O’Keefe—sleazeball, professional liar, attacker of teachers who provide special ed, and totally not at all creepy guy who tries to trap women on boats to film them being terrified of “seduction” involving refusing to let someone go—got his start doing anti-choice stuff with a woman named Lila Rose, who has continued to be single-minded in her attempts to shut down Planned Parenthood. Her main form of attack is to try and catch them being overly kind to sexually active minors, which she then distorts, O’Keefe-style, in videos that mostly end up scandalizing anti-choicers who can’t believe teenage girls get to have sex without going to jail these days. (She once tried to get me to debate her, but when I tried to set conditions that would make it impossible for them to edit my comments to make me say things I didn’t say, they ceased communications.) The excuse for this is they’re trying to expose Planned Parenthood as some seedy pro-statutory rape organization because they…. well, it’s hard to say, actually. The charge is usually that Planned Parenthood employees don’t immediately call the cops as soon as they discover a minor is sexually active, thought it’s unclear if they’re supposed to also handcuff the dirty little slut victim, or just lock her inside to prevent her from escaping now that what little trust she put in them has been violated.

Anyway, having gotten nowhere with that tactic, it seems Lila Rose and her people have shifted gears.

Planned Parenthood, a perennial protest target because of its role in providing abortions, has notified the FBI that at least 12 of its health centers were visited recently by a man purporting to be a sex trafficker but who may instead be part of an attempted ruse to entrap clinic employees.

In each case, according to Planned Parenthood, the man sought to speak privately with a clinic employee and then requested information about health services for sex workers, including some who he said were minors and in the U.S. illegally.

It is true that sex trafficking is a problem, and that evil pimps do control young girls, teenagers, and immigrants and force them to be raped repeatedly by men who pay the pimps for the opportunity. This is indeed horrible, and something should be done about it.

But all that Lila Rose and company care about is the horrible, horrible, horrible prospect that an underage trafficking victim could get some antibiotics for an STD picked up from one of her rapists. The horror! God, next you’ll be saying that it would be okay if a 14-year-old that’s been raped by grown men for the last year of her life not also be forced to bear a rapist’s child!

Seriously, guys, Rose and her friends are such good Christians. Remember that part in the Bible where Jesus said that prostitutes should be shunned from society and left to die penniless and alone? I’m sure it’s in there somewhere, right after he railed against raising taxes on the rich and he spoke about the importance of an electrified border fence to show immigrants that he was serious when he said he hated them.

Not that there’s anything unusual about Rose’s targets. Anti-choicers and opponents of public sexual health initiatives in general are pretty smart, and they know to start by attacking the access of the weakest and most vulnerable. Targeting prostitutes as people unworthy of health care access is pretty standard, as is targeting minors, and of course the poor. But once they’ve been successful on those fronts, they do expand. Look at the way that success with attacking poor women’s abortion access turned into a larger attack on the abortion funding for all women who rely on health insurance to pay doctors’ bills. The end game is always restricting reproductive health care for wealthy women, and throwing everyone else out into the show (though, in some cases, not before relieving them of the babies they’ve been forced to have, and giving them to rich women struggling with infertility). There’s sadly nothing new here; Lila Rose is just particularly obnoxious about it.

Oh, and in case there’s any part of this story that doesn’t make you want to puke at what horrible people these folks are, think about this: they attacked the Tucson Planned Parenthood just a week after their pro-choice congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot by a raving misogynist. It’s that sort of good taste and decency that really sets anti-choicers apart from the pack.

Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
 
 
 
 
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