If a business got caught on a hidden camera advocating lying in order to circumvent a law, you'd think that they would go into full grovel mode and the tape would make the rounds of all sorts of media outlets.
At least, that would be the case if it the business was anything other than the abortion business. I noted the videos made by 18-year-old UCLA sophomore Lila Rose a few days ago. Now, Planned Parenthood has threatened a lawsuit and if you want to watch the videos you'll have to go here -- there's a link to the video in the Cybercast News Service story. The YouTube versions have been removed from general circulation.
David French, an attorney with the Christian legal group Alliance Defense Fund, accused Planned Parenthood of "engaging in a campaign...to bully an 18-year-old to distract attention from the fact that their employees were engaging in unlawful behavior."
French, who is serving as Rose's legal adviser, said, "Nothing changes the truth of what's contained in those videotapes. Planned Parenthood was advocating that a patient lie, advocating a way around mandatory reporting requirements for statutory rape, and nothing that Planned Parenthood does as far as trying to bully her regarding the tapes themselves can change those facts."
Regardless of Planned Parenthood's activity in the clinic, French said his client hopes to avoid the court. "She's going to comply with the bulk of their demands on it regarding the videotapes themselves, so I would hope that Planned Parenthood would not pursue any further action against her," he said.
I'd be curious to see if there was some sort of push by California media organizations to get California law changed so that recording is legal as long as one party to the conversation consents if this were anything other than abortion. It would seem that a case could be made for a public service exemption to the law. Otherwise, it would seem that California residents are even more likely to be defrauded by businesses because investigative reporters can't gather the sort of evidence necessary to prove, for example, auto repair fraud.
And make no mistake, Rose is an investigative reporter.
And then there's a couple of bits of history:
In 2002, an activist group called Life Dynamics ran a campaign in which a woman posing as a 13-year old impregnated by a 22-year-old and called clinics operated by Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Federation. The group has compiled tapes of workers encouraging girls to lie about their age to avoid being reported as a victim.
The group claims to have collected "over 800 tape recordings that show how Planned Parenthood and NAF workers secure business from victims of statutory rape by undermining parental authority, encouraging children to lie and promising minors that their employees will ignore mandatory reporting laws."
"[T]ell them your boyfriend is 16 or something because he could get in a lot of trouble," one employee in Alaska told the caller. A worker in North Carolina told the caller, "I wouldn't advise you to say anything about your boyfriend being 22, because that's statutory rape."
Life Dynamics founder Mark Crutcher told Cybercast News Service Monday that telling girls to lie about their age is standard practice for abortion clinics because "there's lots of money in this."
He said the fact that Planned Parenthood threatened to sue Rose is a sign that the organization is interested in continuing the practice rather than reforming. "If they were interested in using this as the opportunity to educate their people then that would be their thrust and how the girl got the tapes would be somewhat irrelevant," he said.
Crutcher said his organization has never heard a response from Planned Parenthood or the National Abortion Federation. It has never faced legal challenges, he said, because the calls were placed from Texas, which requires only that one participant in the conversation consent to having it taped.
And then there's this case from Ohio -- not exactly "history" -- it's going on now.
John Blanks Jr. of Mason was sentenced to five years - one year in prison for every year he molested his daughter, beginning when she was 13. "She had to get up out of his bed in the morning and go to school, if you can imagine what that was like," Hutzel said.
In May 2006, the girl told a Mason High School official what was going on. "She finally decided she wasn't going to take it anymore and she didn't want her sibling to become a victim," Hutzel said.
Now the girl says in a lawsuit filed Wednesday that the abuse could have been stopped earlier. In November 2004, when she was 16, the girl was forced by her father to have an abortion. She reported the abuse at the Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Cincinnati, her lawyer says.
"She tried to put an end to this abuse," said Brian Hurley, "by informing a Planned Parenthood employee that she has been forced to have sex and to do things she did not want to do. Tragically for her, Planned Parenthood's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy was in full force."
State law requires teachers, clinic workers and others to report suspected abuse to police. But Planned Parenthood "completely ignored her cry for help," Hurley said, and his client was "raped on many occasions over the next one and one-half years."
Planned Parenthood, where the bottom line is No. 1 and women are a distant third.