The Corner

This Is Planned Parenthood

This comes from the Richmond Times-Dispatch in response to yesterday’s Live Action video release of a Planned Parenthood clinic worker in Richmond, Va., coaching an actor posing as a sex-trafficker about the convenience of judicial bypass when underage abortions are desired by a man running a business:

Paulette McElwain, president of the Virginia League for Planned Parenthood, defended her employee, who reported the visit to her supervisor.

“She followed all of our protocols and behaved professionally,” McElwain said. “Our job is to provide information, and that’s exactly what she did.”

Even to sex workers. The picture that seems to be becoming clear in these videos — and we see it again this morning, also in Virginia, in three separate clinics: A Planned Parenthood worker provides confidential information to whomever walks into one of its clinics. And if you’ve announced yourself as a sex worker, working with underage girls, she’ll give you advice about the best ways to keep them at work, getting tests and birth control and abortions as needed.

If that’s the deal, Planned Parenthood ought to be open about it as its spokesmen defend themselves, dismiss the concerns raised by Live Action’s investigations along with the rest of us “anti-choice extremists,” and fundraise off the headlines.

And the political leaders — including Barack Obama — who have done Planned Parenthood homage on the campaign trail ought to reconsider their contribution to keeping the sex trade in America operating.

Of course, we all bear a responsibility, inasmuch as taxpayer funding has been going to these clinics, as has been noted this week. Efforts to defund Planned Parenthood should be seriously discussed by members of Congress and state leaders of both parties. In Virginia and New Jersey, both attorneys general are aware of the videos and appear to support further investigation (New Jersey’s has said as much and Ken Cuccinelli in Virginia has said that what he has seen “so far is very disturbing” and that he will “likely will have more to say about this”).

As Live Action president Lila Rose told me Monday as she showed me the first video released this week, there’s some reason to believe a Planned Parenthood clinic — in more than Perth Amboy, N.J. — operates as “a safe haven for sex trafficking.” And if that is in fact the case, taxpayers deserve to know the truth. Planned Parenthood shouldn’t be perversely able to hide under the guise of women’s health as they appear to contribute to the victimization of girls.

“The perfect partner for a sex trafficker is a clinic that covers up abuse,” is how Rose puts it. These videos provide snapshots into how routinely it may work for a sex trafficker — and next door to many Washington policymakers.

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