Undercover attack on Planned Parenthood

Antiabortion activist visits clinic posing as a minor and says her 23-year-old boyfriend impregnated her.

Published May 11, 2007 9:57PM (EDT)

A hidden camera hit-piece on Planned Parenthood is quickly making the rounds on YouTube. The first of two videos captures a staff member at a Los Angeles Planned Parenthood clinic appearing to obliquely guide a pregnant 15-year-old on how to lie about her age in order to have an abortion without the clinic's being required to report a statutory rape to the police. In the second video, a worker at a different clinic counsels the girl and relates that she'd given birth at the age of 17 and later came to regret it. But, as it turns out, the 15-year-old is actually 18-year-old Lila Rose, a UCLA student doing undercover work for the Advocate, an antiabortion magazine.

There isn't exactly news here -- this is just the latest attempt by antiabortion activists to entrap Planned Parenthood workers by posing as underage girls. In the video, Rose takes on a childish, wavering tone and explains that her 23-year-old boyfriend got her pregnant, then pauses, and asks whether they have to report it. The Planned Parenthood worker leaves the room to double-check the age of consent and returns to tell her, "If you're 15, we have to report it ... If you're not, if you're older than that, then we don't need to." Rose asks, "OK, but if I just say I'm not 15, then it's different?" The worker then says, "You could say 16." Later, the worker says, "Just figure out a birthdate that works. And I don't know anything."

There's no question the Planned Parenthood worker was going against official protocol. I called up Kathy Kneer, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, who said, "It is our absolute policy that we do not counsel patients in that fashion. We regularly train our staff on how to comply and how to report suspected child abuse." She added: "She controlled the situation and that was her goal and intent. Ideally, our staff would have handled it differently." Since then, they've retrained their staff on reporting guidelines.

By Tracy Clark-Flory

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