The Planned Parenthood clinic manager shown in the hidden-camera video released by pro-life group Live Action on Tuesday has been fired from the clinic in Perth Amboy, N.J.
Amy Woodruff was shown advising two pro-life activists posing as a pimp and a prostitute on how to get around laws that limit access to abortion and contraception by minors, supposedly in the employ of the "pimp."
"We have a zero-tolerance policy for this kind of behavior, and the employee in the video was immediately suspended from her duties this morning and was terminated this evening," according to a statement released Tuesday night by Phyllis Kinsler, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Central New Jersey.
On Wednesday, Stuart Schear, vice president for communications of Planned Parenthood, told CNN that the employee's behavior was "completely inconsistent with guidelines of Planned Parenthood" and because of this she was fired.
However, in a press release Tuesday on the website of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of New Jersey, the organization said the undercover video released by Live Action showed "edited comments" made by Ms. Woodruff. The press release deemed the video as a "hoax" because Live Action released only an abridged version of the video and waited until later Tuesday to release the complete footage to the FBI.
Pro-lifers noted Wednesday that the denunciation of the video seems inconsistent with the firing of Ms. Woodruff and said that while their own videos do not depict actual pimps or prostitutes, they still show Planned Parenthood employees acting as if this was a normal occurrence.
"It appears that Planned Parenthood decided to fire Ms. Woodruff over a 'hoax.' Or, maybe they are coming to the realization that they have a serious problem brewing," Lila Rose, president of Live Action, said in a blog post Wednesday morning on her group's website.
Ms. Kinsler did not return phone calls Wednesday from The Washington Times for comment on the firing.
But in his CNN interview, Mr. Schear denied Live Action's claims that the video proved his organization does not report possible sex-abuse cases.
"Lila Rose said we do not report," he said. "The fact is, we reported to the highest authority in the land," referring to the FBI.
When CNN asked Mr. Schear whether this taping incident would change Planned Parenthood's employee-training method, he said the group's staff is already trained, and "there is no training that could prevent" an employee not following the rules.
In New Jersey, Planned Parenthood has been battling the efforts of not only Live Action, but the state's governor as well.
Just last year New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie opted not to provide funding to Planned Parenthood and cut funds from the state budget. He also got rid of a federal waiver that provided funds to the organization. These cuts resulted in one clinic having to close as well as a statement on the state Planned Parenthood website saying that because of the funding cuts "services and hours must be reduced at our health centers."
Before the video came out, New Jersey legislators passed a bill calling on Mr. Christie to restore funds for family-planning services. The governor did not return repeated phone calls Wednesday from The Times for comment on the video or Planned Parenthood funding.
Moreover, other pro-life organizations have begun to join Live Action in its efforts to push Congress to defund Planned Parenthood in light of the undercover video.
"The horror exposed in the video released yesterday was not an isolated incident … . Yet, this organization insists that it deserves taxpayers' continued support," Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said.
An "Expose Planned Parenthood" campaign will follow the video with a live, nationwide webcast on Thursday that will include commentary from pro-life activists, including Miss Rose and Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood director.
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