Tucson Planned Parenthood clinic targeted by anti-choice “sting”.

24 Jan 2011 06:57 pm
Posted by: Donna

The AP filed this story, which has been picked up by WaPo and will undoubtedly be reported by local reporters.

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. Among them was a clinic in Tucson, Ariz., which Planned Parenthood said was visited on the 15th, a week after the shooting rampage in that city that critically injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

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.

However, Richards said the visits could be part of a hoax resembling some past actions by anti-abortion activists.

“Once inside, these people have recorded ‘undercover’ videos of their conversations with our clinic staff and then selectively and maliciously edited the videos,” she wrote. “This may be happening once again. If so, this kind of activity should be firmly condemned.”

Justice Department spokeswoman Alisa Finelli, as well as FBI spokesmen in Washington and Arizona, said that under standard policy they could not comment on whether an investigation had in fact been launched. Shear said there had been some preliminary contacts with the FBI, which was asking for information from the clinics that were visited.

According to Schear, the man who visited the clinics initially presented himself as a patient seeking treatment for a sexually transmitted disease, elaborating on the purported sex ring only after getting into a private setting with a staff member. Because of strict patient-privacy laws, Schear said Planned Parenthood could not reveal the man’s suspected identity or even describe his looks or apparel.

“On the face of it, we have to take it very seriously, and that’s what we’ve done,” Schear said. “At the same time, as we gathered more information, it came to our attention that this person has some connection with Live Action.”

Misleading the public is the stock in trade of rabid anti-choicers so look forward to right wing politicians in Arizona attempting to use whatever spurious malarkey that comes from this Live Action “sting” to denigrate Planned Parenthood in Arizona and push for even more restrictions on abortion and access to contraception. The latter is important because despite anti-choicers constantly conflating PP with abortion, abortion is one of many health related services offered by PP to clients and far from the most common one. Arguably the most important role of PP in the community is providing low cost contraception to girls and women who really need it. Unfortunately, reporters seem incapable of asking anti-choicers about their views on birth control so anti-choicers are able to carry out their anti-contraception agenda under the radar.

Here’s Live Action founder Lila Rose:

Rose has said her goal is to unnerve Planned Parenthood employees and eventually put them out of business.

“We will work to de-fund them in every state wherever it is possible, to de-license them and to expose them,” she told the conservative Value Voters Summit in October.

“The other part of it, too, is to create controversy within the organization, keep them on their toes,” she said. “We need to help them feel that fear.”

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