By Peter J. Smith
LOS ANGELES, May 15, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – An intrepid student reporter faces the legal hammer of Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles (PPLA) after she recorded an abortion clinic employee offering her help to cover-up statutory rape and protect her over-age boyfriend from the police.
Lila Rose, 18, a sophomore at the University of California Los Angeles and editor-in-chief of The Advocate, a pro-life newspaper on campus, entered a PPLA clinic with a hidden video recorder as part of her own investigation into the practices of abortion clinics. Rose posed as a pregnant 15-year-old accompanied by her 23-year-old “boyfriend” played by James O’Keefe.
The video documents a staffer breaking California law, which requires clinics to report sexual abuse, including statutory rape where the victim is under 16 years old. In the meeting between Rose and an anonymous PPLA employee, the staffer told Rose: “If you’re 15, we have to report it … If you’re not, if you’re older than that, then we don’t need to.”
Rose: “Okay, but if I just say I’m not 15, then it’s different?”
PPLA staffer: “You could say 16 … Just figure out a birth date that works. And I don’t know anything.”
Other parts of the video clip show another Planned Parenthood clinic manager encouraging Rose to seek an abortion saying giving birth to her daughter at 17 hindered her own life goals.
“If I would do it again, I would not continue the pregnancy,” said the woman referring to her now 16 year-old daughter.
However as news spread of the exposé, PPLA went on the attack and on Monday threatened Rose with a civil action for violating California privacy laws. California law prohibits recording “intentionally and without the consent of all parties to a confidential communication” carrying a $2,500 fine, and possible civil penalties of $5,000 or more.
Cybercast News Service (CNSNews) reports that PPLA president Mary Jane Wagle sent Rose a “cease-and-desist” e-mail, ordering her to remove all video clips from the video-sharing site YouTube, and hand over the original tapes and all copies to Planned Parenthood.
“If you do not agree to take these three steps, PPLA will seek all appropriate legal remedies,” Wagle wrote.
Trying to avoid a costly lawsuit, Rose has complied and the videos are no longer publicly available on YouTube, although they have proliferated on conservative blogs, and preserved on CNSNews, which obtained copies before the PPLA ultimatum.
The bold investigation by Lila Rose and the fledgling advocate is reminiscent of the exposé by Life Dynamics, in which a woman posing as a 13-year old impregnated by a 22-year-old made 800 calls to abortion facilities across the United States. 91% of the facilities that admitted that a crime had been committed agreed to conceal it.
The Advocate’s video came out at the same time that Planned Parenthood’s Southwest Ohio Region faces a lawsuit from another rape victim who was forced by her father to have sex with him during the time she was 13-18 years of age and an abortion at age 16. Lawyers for the victim have accused Planned Parenthood’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for perpetuating her sexual molestation until she finally told a basketball coach, who then informed the authorities.
Planned Parenthood risks losing $280- million in government funding, primarily through Title X funds, if convicted of breaking the law by protecting rapists. The abortion provider’s 2004-2005 annual report showed that from an $882 million income they made $63 million in profits and that the possible large loss of funds from the case could result in the closure of many abortion facilities nationwide.
The investigation, however, has put Lila Rose and The Advocate in the national spotlight. Earlier this morning, Rose spoke on the Kirby Wilbur Show, and appears tonight on the FOX News O’Reilly Factor at 8PM EST.
(With files from Cybercast News Service)
The May 15 CNS news story and May 11 interview with Lila Rose, editor in Chief of the Advocate, can be found here:
The Advocate’s webpage where its original work can be found: