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Video captures abortion coaching
Question of the Day
Planned Parenthood of Indiana has suspended a nurse after the release of an undercover videotape showing her coaching a supposed 13-year-old on how to duck Indiana's laws about parental consent on abortion and the reporting of child sex abuse.
The videotape shows Lila Rose, the president of a university pro-life group and a brunette, posing as a blond 13-year-old girl named "Brianna" and telling the Planned Parenthood nurse at the clinic in Bloomington, Ind., that she is pregnant by a 31-year-old man.
"I am supposed to report [you] to Child Protective Services," the nurse says on the videotape, though she assures "Brianna" that she will not do so if she can tell a plausible different story.
"I didn't hear the age. I don't want to know the age," the nurse says at a later point on the tape.
The nurse, who is referred to on the video as "Diana" but whose face has been blurred, knew neither that the session was being taped nor that "Brianna" really was Miss Rose, a 20-year-old pro-life activist at the University of California at Los Angeles.
Miss Rose told The Washington Times on Thursday that this footage is only part of an ongoing project with many examples of such conduct. Her group and other student pro-lifers have released tapes of similar counseling.
Indiana is not one of 12 states that restricts or prohibits surreptitious taping.
Planned Parenthood of Indiana quickly suspended "Diana" without pay on Wednesday and vowed an investigation.
"We are deeply concerned about the content of the video. ... The apparent actions of the employee would be in violation of our strict policies and procedures," Betty Cockrum, the state chapter's president, said in a statement.
"A thorough internal investigation of this matter has begun. ... Further disciplinary action will be taken if warranted by the investigation."
She said her group is "committed to following all state laws" and is "immediately reinforcing all of our policies and procedures with the staff members." The statement did not name the employee.
The tape has several breaks during the conversation and Miss Cockrum's statement said "we cannot be certain whether this video has been altered."
She was traveling Thursday, and a spokeswoman said there was no further comment.
On the tape, which is posted on YouTube.com and which made the rounds of conservative and pro-life sites Wednesday, the nurse also advises "Brianna" on how to cover for the 31-year-old man by, among other things, saying that the father could be a boy in school.
"You've seen him around, you know he's 14, he's in your grade and whatever. You know what I mean?" the nurse says.
At another point, "Diana" coaches "Brianna" on getting around Indiana's parental-consent laws. She hands the girl a piece of paper and tells her she can show the sheet but can say nothing.
The nurse then circles the name and address of an Illinois abortion clinic on the paper. Illinois has had a parental notification law since 1994 but it's never been enforced because the Illinois Supreme Court refuses to rule on ways a girl can appeal the notification requirement.
Indiana law requires health care providers and others to report a sexual act between an adult and a person younger than 14 to law enforcement or the Department of Child Protective Services. Not reporting such an act is a misdemeanor punishable under state law by a maximum of 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
A city spokesman said Thursday that the Bloomington City Police is not investigating the clinic or the nurse for suspicions of violating the statutory-rape notification law, but is beefing up security around the facility to protect it from any backlash.
"There's no investigation taking place, but they have stepped up patrols around the area," said Danny Lopez, communications director for the city of Bloomington. Patrols have been stepped up in case anybody has a strong reaction to the situation, but he said there have been no problems.
Miss Rose produced the video over the summer as part of the "Mona Lisa Project" of Live Action Films, which describes itself on its Web site as an undercover audit "demonstrating the routine lawlessness of abortion providers at Planned Parenthood."
"Today's video release is only a sample from many hours of similarly disturbing footage," said Miss Rose, who appeared on Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor" show Thursday night. "We're staggering the releases one by one that each incident of abuse gets the national attention and scrutiny it deserves.
"Planned Parenthood is covering up these incidents of abuse and sending these girls back into the arms of older men. I am a college student doing investigative journalism and they've tried to sue me and shut me up. But every time, they have admitted wrongdoing."
The Mona Lisa Project, she added in a statement, "demonstrates how quickly the abortion industry's disrespect for unborn children becomes disregard for all humans. Planned Parenthood offers no solutions for the victim of statutory rape - they give her an abortion and a bag of condoms and sent her straight back into the arms of the abuser."
Planned Parenthood is a tax-exempt nonprofit group that nationwide receives $336.7 million in government funding.
The Indiana chapter of Planned Parenthood also made national news last week by putting up for sale Christmas gift certificates, good for any services it provides, from Pap smears to abortions.
This incident also is not the first time surreptitious taping by Miss Rose and other pro-life college students has embarrassed Planned Parenthood.
• Last month, Students for Life of America released a video taken over the summer of a college student posing as a 15-year-old girl telling staffers at a Charlotte, N.C., clinic about emergency contraception because of unprotected sex with her mother's 30-something live-in boyfriend.
The Planned Parenthood staffers acknowledge this as statutory rape. Students for Life filed a state Public Records Request that showed that Planned Parenthood never reported anything to authorities.
• Last year, Live Action Films students posed as racists to tape phone calls in which several Planned Parenthood chapters accept donations on condition that the money be used to abort blacks.
In one call, Autumn Kersey, vice president of marketing for Planned Parenthood of Idaho, is told that the caller has been hurt by affirmative action and "we just think, the less black kids out there the better." Miss Kersey nervously laughs and says "understandable."
The Idaho chapter later called accepting the money "a serious mistake."
• Also in 2007, Miss Rose videotaped a Planned Parenthood staffer in California telling her, while posing as a 15-year-old pregnant by a 23-year-old boyfriend, to lie about her age so the staffer wouldn't have to report anything under statutory rape laws.
"You could say 16," the worker helpfully suggests. "Just figure out a birth date that works. And I don't know anything." Planned Parenthood responded by threatening a lawsuit over the surreptitious taping.
• Julia Duin and Ben Conery contributed to this article.
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