Anti-abortion group claims video is proof of Planned Parenthood ‘gendercide’

By David Ferguson
Tuesday, May 29, 2012 12:57 EDT
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Fetal ultrasound image via Flickr flatiron32
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The anti-abortion group Live Action has released a video Tuesday that it claims shows proof that Planned Parenthood is helping women obtain sex-selective abortions. The undercover footage was obtained in an Austin, Texas Planned Parenthood clinic and is part of a series that Live Action calls “Gendercide: Sex-Selection in America.”

Planned Parenthood, who predicted this campaign months ago after a string of “highly unusual” patient visits, released a statement today regarding the new video.

“Six weeks ago a former staff member serving in an entry-level position did not follow our protocol for providing information and guidance when presented with a highly unusual patient scenario,” said the statement, “Planned Parenthood insists on the highest quality patient care, and if we ever become aware of a staff member not meeting these high standards, we take swift action. Within three days of this patient interaction, the staff member’s employment was ended and all staff members at this affiliate were immediately scheduled for retraining in managing unusual patient encounters. Today opponents of Planned Parenthood are promoting an edited video of that hoax patient encounter.”

In the video, a Live Action operative posed as a woman in her first trimester of pregnancy and met with a Planned Parenthood representative named Rebecca. The operative said that she would terminate the pregnancy if the embryo turned out to be female. Rebecca counseled the woman to get on Medicaid for an ultrasound and other health expenses, informing her that gender can usually be determined at around five months.

The counselor urged the woman not to inform everyone she encounters in the course of her ultrasound and other treatments that she plans to terminate the pregnancy. Live Action insists that this is a means of “cheating” the Medicaid system, but the counselor’s advice is actually about avoiding doctors who would insist that 16 weeks is the latest point in a pregnancy that an abortion is an option.

“We’ve had even clinicians, I mean, regular doctors who have even told women,” said Rebecca, “‘You know, you can’t go and terminate after 16 weeks,’ which is not true. A lot of doctors, you know, they’ll place judgment,” she said, because of the extent of the fetus’s development.

It appears that large sections of the video have been edited away and Live Action uses music and superimposed photos of a thumb-sucking fetus to lurid effect. Live Action founder and president Lila Rose said in the press release that accompanied the video, “The search-and-destroy targeting of baby girls through prenatal testing and abortion is a pandemic that is spreading across the globe. Research proves that sex-selective abortion has now come to America. The abortion industry, led by Planned Parenthood, is a willing participant.”

Planned Parenthood responded to the allegations in their statement, saying, “Gender bias is contrary to everything our organization works for daily in communities across the country. Planned Parenthood opposes racism and sexism in all forms, and we work to advance equity and human rights in the delivery of health care. Planned Parenthood condemns sex selection motivated by gender bias, and urges leaders to challenge the underlying conditions that lead to these beliefs and practices, including addressing the social, legal, economic, and political conditions that promote gender bias and lead some to value one gender over the other.”

Watch the video from Live Action, embedded via YouTube, below:

(Image via Flickr Commons user flatiron32)

David Ferguson
David Ferguson
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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