Religious Right Claims Planned Parenthood 'Concealed' Sex Trafficking That It Actually Reported To FBI

February 01, 2011 3:30 pm ET — Matt Finkelstein

This morning, Live Action founder Lila Rose — a former associate of convicted criminal and hoax artist James O'Keefe — released an undercover video that purportedly exposes "Planned Parenthood's cover-up of child sex trafficking." According to Live Action, the "abridged 11-minute video" shows a Planned Parenthood employee "coach[ing] a man and a woman posing as sex traffickers how to secure secret abortions, STD testing, and contraception for their female underage sex slaves, and make their whole operation 'look as legit as possible.'"

Predictably, anti-abortion leaders have pounced on the video to attack Planned Parenthood and demand that Congress defund it. For instance, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins accused Planned Parenthood of not only 'concealing' child prostitution but attempting to "ensure that it quietly continues."

Planned Parenthood has again proven that they are nothing more than a money-grabbing and highly corrupt abortion organization that will conceal a crime as disgusting as child prostitution —and ensure that it quietly continues. Americans work too hard for their dollars to fund an organization this devoid of concern for young women and basic decency, much less to the tune of $350 million a year.  

Wendy Wright, the CEO of Concerned Women for America, similarly claimed that the tape "confirms that Planned Parenthood continues to partner with abusing men against the women and girls they claim to serve."

However, the allegations against Planned Parenthood are comically false. Far from 'partnering' with abusers and 'ensuring' that abuse continues, Planned Parenthood actually reported Live Action's visits to the FBI. According to a statement released on January 24 (emphasis original):

Last week, Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) alerted federal authorities to a potential multistate sex trafficking ring.  Over a five day period, visitors to Planned Parenthood health centers in six states said they were seeking information from Planned Parenthood about health services Planned Parenthood could provide to underage girls who were part of a sex trafficking ring.  Subsequent to alerting U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Planned Parenthood learned the identify of one of those involved and believes these visits are likely a hoax by opponents of legal abortion seeking to discredit Planned Parenthood, which delivers preventive health care and abortion services to three million women each year.

Men, sometimes accompanied by a woman, have visited at least 11 Planned Parenthood health centers in six states within a one-week time frame.  During their visits, they claimed to be involved in sex trafficking of teens, some of whom are in the United States illegally.  These men appeared at health centers without appointments and said that they were seeking health services for themselves, but they quickly turned the conversation to the sex ring they said they were managing.  

"When Planned Parenthood learns of an operation that exploits young women, we vigilantly work with law enforcement authorities to uncover and stop this abhorrent activity," said Stuart Schear, PPFA vice president for communications.  "Planned Parenthood's top priority is the health and safety of our patients and the health and well-being of women and teens across the country, and we have been in contact with federal and local authorities to identify the persons involved in these visits."

The statement also noted, "One of the men involved in these visits has now been identified, and he appears to be associated with or influenced by Live Action, an anti-Planned Parenthood organization that uses surreptitious videotaping and manipulative editing for media and political campaigns." The Associated Press also reported on the "suspicious visits," adding that "Lila Rose began infiltrating abortion clinics in 2006."

While congressional Republicans have mostly stayed quiet about the controversy, one conspiracy-minded lawmaker was quick to pass judgment. On Twitter, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) wrote:

Bachmann Tweet