Congressmen, activists call for Planned Parenthood defunding in wake of undercover video
February 3, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In the wake of the release of an explosive undercover video this week, two prominent congressmen as well as anti-trafficking activists have renewed calls for the defunding of Planned Parenthood. At the same time Youtube has threatened to remove the video, and death threats have reportedly been made against its producers.
The footage, released Tuesday by the pro-life media organization Live Action, showed a manager at a New Jersey Planned Parenthood advising an actor posing as a pimp how to make his illegal sex ring look “as legit as possible,” while obtaining STI testing, contraception, and abortions for his underage victims.
Planned Parenthood claimed the facility had reported the incident to the national office, but then announced that the manager had been fired after they viewed the tape.
The abortion organization refused an invitation to debate Live Action President Lila Rose on CNN yesterday evening. However, in a follow-up segment on the same network, Stuart Shear, PP’s vice president of communications, called Live Action an “extreme political group” whose goal is “to take away health care from women.”
They are “not concerned about women, and they are not concerned about abused young girls,” he said. “They have a very extreme political agenda.”
Planned Parenthood also refused to appear on Fox’s O’Reilly Factor, according to guest host Laura Ingraham. Ingraham did speak with Rose and revealed that Live Action has faced death threats as a result of the video.
On Wednesday, Live Action received a letter from Youtube threatening to remove the video, which has nearly 240,000 views, due to “privacy concerns” unless they edited it within 48 hours. The letter states that the offense occurs at 10:58, the final second of the video, when Planned Parenthood’s logo appears.
Thursday afternoon, however, National Review Online reported that Youtube’s parent company Google said they would leave the video up. It remains up as of press time.
On Wednesday, U.S. Congressman Mike Pence, who introduced a bill to strip Planned Parenthood’s funding this month, said that the potential criminal activity on display in the video was yet more evidence of the need to defund the organization, which receives over $300 million a year in federal funding.
“The recent release of an undercover video exposing duplicity and potential criminality by an employee of Planned Parenthood is an outrage,” he said. “Every American should be shocked that an employee of the largest recipient of federal funds under Title X has been recorded aiding and abetting underage sex trafficking.”
“The time to deny any and all funding to Planned Parenthood is now,” he continued. “In the wake of yet another scandal involving Planned Parenthood, I urge Congress to move the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act to the floor for immediate consideration.”
Republican Congressman Sean Duffy concurred. “It’s chilling to see how callous this Planned Parenthood employee was toward the plight of underage sex slaves,” he said.
“At a time when our government is operating on credit from China, this video will make many American taxpayers question the $360 million they give to Planned Parenthood annually.”
Two anti-trafficking leaders joined the congressmen in calling for Planned Parenthood’s defunding.
Jeffrey Barrows, the director of the Christian Trafficking Shelter Association, said he knows that “traffickers will often take their victims to clinics to obtain abortions or STI testing.” “I find it appalling that there are people working at Planned Parenthood who are willing to help traffickers exploit young girls, but even more horrifying to realize they are being paid with my tax dollars!”
Steven Wagner, the president of the Renewal Forum and a former director in the human trafficking program for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, called Live Action’s video “profoundly disturbing.”
“To provide abortions or contraception to a child who is being sexually exploited is to sustain that exploitation – just the same as the adult who pays for sex with a child sustains the exploitation,” he said. “It is incomprehensible that a health care provider is so eager to abet a trafficker, and for a national organization which receives public funds to support in this way our national epidemic of child sexual exploitation is vile.”