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Anti-Abortion Rights Groups Seeks to Discredit Planned Parenthood

Live Action, an anti-abortion rights group, is distributing an edited undercover video that appears to show an employee at a Planned Parenthood clinic in New Jersey advising paid actors posing as a pimp and a prostitute on where they can obtain abortion services for girls under the age of 14 and illegal immigrants.

Stuart Schear, the Vice President of Communications for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement that 12 clinics in 6 different states were visited in January by individuals claiming to be involved in sex trafficking. Planned Parenthood reported each incident to the Department of Justice and sent a letter to US Attorney General Eric Holder on January 18 expressing its concerns regarding possible sex trafficking. In the letter, Planned Parenthood also raised questions as to whether the visits were part of a hoax by Live Action based on an identification of one of the visitors.

Lila Rose, the president and founder of Live Action, formerly worked with James O’Keefe, a conservative activist who released a similar video in 2009 in which he and a colleague acted as a pimp and prostitute and sought to discredit the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). ACORN, an organization that provides housing services to low-income populations, has since filed for bankruptcy. Later it was determined that the O’Keefe video had been so heavily edited that it was ultimately declared a hoax.

Sources:

Washington Post 2/1/11; New York Times 2/1/11; Media Matters 2/1/11; Statement of Planned Parenthood 1/24/11

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