This morning, The Blaze brought you the undercover Live Action video showcasing a counselor at a Planned Parenthood in Austin, Texas, purportedly helping a faux patient who wanted a sex-selective abortion. Now, just hours after the disturbing video was published on numerous news sites and blogs, the controversial organization is responding.
In a statement to the Huffington Post, Planned Parenthood said that it does not discriminate against women who seek abortions, even if the basis for the procedure is gender. Despite this viewpoint, the organization did say that it condemns gender-based terminations. The Post has more:
A Planned Parenthood spokeswoman told The Huffington Post on Tuesday the staffer in the video "did not follow our protocol" for dealing with "a highly unusual patient scenario."
"Planned Parenthood insists on the highest quality patient care, and if we ever become aware of a staff member not meeting these high standards we take swift action," she said in a written statement. "Within three days of this patient interaction, the staff member’s employment was ended and all staff members at this affiliate were immediately scheduled for retraining in managing unusual patient encounters. Today opponents of Planned Parenthood are promoting an edited video of that hoax patient encounter."
This spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood Federation of America also told The Huffington Post that the organization condemns seeking abortions on the basis of gender, but its policy is to provide “high quality, confidential, nonjudgmental care to all who come into” its health centers. That means that no Planned Parenthood clinic will deny a woman an abortion based on her reasons for wanting one, except in those states that explicitly prohibit sex-selective abortions (Arizona, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Illinois).
There's no mention, though, of the regulations that Rebecca, the staffer named in the video, failed to follow properly. Here's the original video that has Planned Parenthood on the defensive:
One could easily make the case that Planned Parenthood, pending the group truly is opposed to sex-selective abortion, could prevent women in all states from partaking in gender-based bias at its clinics. This is to say that if sex-selective abortions truly pose an ethical conundrum for the organization, disallowing them is an easy solution. It seems, though, that the group is only willing to take such a stand if the law requires it to do so.
LifeNews notes that Planned Parenthood followed this media appearance up with another statement that responds in more depth to the video expose. In it, Leslie Kantor, vice-president for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, provides insight on the situation and attempts to dismiss the video expose. In addition to claiming that the "entry-level" employee in the video was fired within days (as the organization told the Huffington Post), the group emphasized that Live Action's video is "edited."
"Recently, opponents of Planned Parenthood conducted hoax patient visits with hidden video cameras and are now using edited videotapes to promote false claims about our organization and patient services," the statement reads. "In highly unusual and scripted scenarios, hoax patients sought services related to sex selection."
LifeNews provides more from the release, which goes on to claim that Planned Parenthood stands firmly planted against gender bias:
“Gender bias is contrary to everything our organization works for daily in communities across the country. Planned Parenthood opposes racism and sexism in all forms, and we work to advance equity and human rights in the delivery of health care. Planned Parenthood condemns sex selection motivated by gender bias, and urges leaders to challenge the underlying conditions that lead to these beliefs and practices, including addressing the social, legal, economic, and political conditions that promote gender bias and lead some to value one gender over the other.”
“The world’s leading women’s health and rights organizations, including the World Health Organization, do not believe that curtailing access to abortion services is a legitimate means of addressing sex selection, and have made clear that gender bias can only be resolved by addressing the underlying conditions that lead to it. And we agree. We support efforts that ensure girls and women have access to economic opportunity, including fair wages, basic health care, political participation, education, and a life free of violence and discrimination. Planned Parenthood works to ensure women and their families have access to high-quality nonjudgmental health services free of coercion, supported by information and counseling.”
Conservatives who oppose abortion will surely find the portion of the statement that claims that Planned Parenthood works to help women achieve "a life free of violence and discrimination" ironic, especially considering that it is female babies who may sometimes undergo the violence of late-term abortion.
Needless to say, Live Action will surely have much to offer in response to Planned Parenthood's statement. With more videos slated to emerge, the women's rights group could find itself on the defensive once again in the coming days.