America

Conservative Group Sets Up Planned Parenthood 'Sting'

Live Action, a conservative group that describes itself as a "youth-led, pro-life movement for human rights," released a video today of one of its members posing as a pimp and walking into a Planned Parenthood office to seek advice. The edited video purports to show a Planned Parenthood employee turning a blind eye to underage prostitution.

The video is very similar to the video made in 2009 by James O'Keefe, who went undercover at the offices of ACORN.

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Planned Parenthood, which has always been a target of protests because it provides abortions, preempted the release of the video by going to the FBI.

The AP reported last week that Planned Parenthood told the FBI that 12 of its centers had been visited by a man who said he was sex trafficker. They suspected it was a hoax perpetrated by Live Action.

The AP goes on:

The visits were made between Jan. 11 and Jan. 15 to health centers in Virginia, Indiana, New York, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., and Arizona...

Last week, Planned Parenthood Federation of America president Cecile Richards wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder summarizing the visits and requesting an FBI investigation. If the man's assertions were true, she wrote, they would indicate possible violations of federal laws dealing with interstate sex trafficking of minors.

O'Keefe's undercover video of ACORN, which showed employees purportedly giving advice to a pimp on how to lie about their profession and launder money, was the catalyst for Congressional action. The senate voted to cut ACORN's funding in Sept. of 2009.

Stuart Schear, vice president for communications at Planned Parenthood, told the AP they have to take those kinds of visits seriously and "that's what we've done."

Update on Feb. 2 at 7:31 p.m.: ABC News reports that Planned Parenthood has fired the clinic manager seen in the video:

"We have a zero tolerance policy for this kind of behavior, and the employee in the video was immediately suspended from her duties … and was terminated …," said Phyllis Kinsler, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Central New Jersey, in a statement late Tuesday night.

Update on Feb. 3 at 1:55 p.m.: Mark Stencel, NPR's managing editor for digital news, has posted an editor's note about this piece.

Update on Feb. 3 at 6:18 p.m: NPR's ombudsman has weighed in on the piece.

Correction: Feb. 1, 2011

An earlier version of this post stated Live Action was associated with James O'Keefe. They are not, and O'Keefe was not a part of this undercover video.

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