If a picture is worth a thousand words an undercover video may eventually be worth hundreds of millions of withdrawn taxpayer dollars. At least that’s the hope of Lila Rose of LiveAction. As a result of her diligence, Planned Parenthood finds itself in yet another sticky situation. Each time LiveAction comes out with another video exposé, I think: surely this must be the last one. You know, fool me once, shame on you, fool me six times… ? How slow can a multi-million-dollar non-profit trans-national conglomerate actually be?
This latest sting brings the total up to something like six P.R. nightmares for the abortion behemoth with no apparent counter-strikes. Just as the buzz begins to subside from the previous debacle caught-on-camera, yet another accommodating Planned Parenthood employee unwittingly provides LiveAction with enough unscripted moral bankruptcy for a juicy sequel – and is promptly fired for it.
This time, a Planned Parenthood counselor is caught red-handed aiding and abetting a young woman (a LiveAction actor) who says she’s pregnant and wants a boy but will have an abortion if the baby turns out to be a girl. Yesterday’s release is apparently only the first in what LiveAction indicates will be a series of videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s willingness to participate in sex-selective abortions.
You have to wonder what the damage-control meetings at PP headquarters must be like with each new LiveAction release. Upper level P.R. directors have got be getting a bit annoyed at what has become a persistent thorn in their side; no doubt keenly aware that a sympathetic media can only repair so much self-inflicted destruction,
In a valiant effort, Laura Bassett, for example, with the Huffington Post, parrots Planned Parenthood’s preferred script by characterizing the operation as a “hoax investigation” leaving the impression that the whole thing was something of a joke. If so, LiveAction continues to get the last laugh, leaving Planned Parenthood and the media to clean up a tarnished public image.
Commenting on the video, Bassett suggests that:
The staffer answers all of the woman’s questions honestly and makes it clear that Planned Parenthood will not deny the woman an abortion despite her reasons for wanting to have one. At the end, she directs the woman to an ob-gyn for an ultrasound and says, “Good luck, and I hope you do get your boy.”
Which then prompts this response from a Huffington reader:
Honest answers = encouragement? No wonder they are scared of decent sex ed!
Seriously, for the staffer to give other than honest answers is unethical. For her to chastise a patient would be equally unethical. – been2there
Hence, the classic rock and hard place. What tends to get lost in the hubbub is the fact that it is the very logic on which pro-choice doctrine rests that leads to the conundrum Planned Parenthood finds itself wrestling with in this and other LiveAction videos.
The simple reality is that if pro-choice logic is correct, then sex-selection abortion should be as morally permissible as any other abortion – which is exactly how the now famous PP staffer responds to the situation. If the human fetus lacks some significant moral quality (let’s call it “personhood”) that a baby possesses then abortion should be morally acceptable for any reason. If not, then pro-choice proponents have a problem. LiveAction videos demonstrate the latter in a way that the spin-meisters at Planned Parenthood can’t figure out how to effectively deal with.
According to Planned Parenthood Vice President Leslie Kantor, the staffer “did not follow our protocol for providing information and guidance when presented with a highly unusual patient scenario.” Kantor’s statement goes on to note that:
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.
No information is given in the statement regarding what specific “protocol” the now unemployed staffer violated or how “retraining” will correct the problem. Nevertheless, the statement suggests that LiveAction is “now using edited videotapes to promote false claims about our organization and patient services” – a difficult claim to support in light of what the staffer is clearly seen doing and saying in the video.
Regardless, Kantor suggests that:
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.
While condemning “gender-bias,” an unnamed Planned Parenthood spokeswoman (apparently Kantor) reportedly told the Huffington Post, that Planned Parenthood’s policy:
…is to provide “high quality, confidential, nonjudgmental care to all who come into” its health centers. That means that no Planned Parenthood clinic will deny a woman an abortion based on her reasons for wanting one, except in those states that explicitly prohibit sex-selective abortions (Arizona, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Illinois).
If Planned Parenthood will not “deny a woman an abortion based on her reason for wanting one,” it would seem that “gender-bias” is as good as any other reason.
What is most remarkable in all this is the fact that Planned Parenthood is no slouch when it comes to buttressing and embellishing its public persona. One need only look at the speed, precision and level of coordination in the recent Susan G. Komen shakedown to see how ruthlessly effective the Planned Parenthood revenge Juggernaut can be when firing on all cylinders. So why the lack of an effective counter-attack in the face of what is by comparison a tiny pro-life group?
Apparently, even millions of taxpayer dollars have a hard time erasing what hidden cameras reveal.