The pro-life group that caught on camera several Planned Parenthood employees trying to help a man posing as a pimp obtain abortions for underage sex workers is accusing Planned Parenthood of deceiving the public and failing to take the issue of sex trafficking seriously.
Live Action released Tuesday a new video featuring former Planned Parenthood clinic manager Ramona Trevino, who was still employed by the abortion provider when the first undercover videos were released in 2011.
Contrary to what Planned Parenthood told the media at the time, Ms. Trevino said the abortion provider responded to the videos — not by training employees how to spot and report sex trafficking — but by teaching them how not to get caught saying incriminating things to undercover journalists.
“I couldn’t believe that we were actually there to train on how to identify if we’re being recorded,” Ms. Trevino says in the six-minute video. “Again, it goes back to do we have something to hide? Why is this an issue for us?”
It was an eye-opening moment for Ms. Trevino, who said she resigned out of disgust.
“That experience left me so disgusted that I couldn’t see how Planned Parenthood could ever redeem themselves after that,” she said.
Live Action’s 2011 investigation caught on camera eight Planned Parenthood workers at seven facilities who were willing to help a man who identified himself as a sex trafficker covertly obtain abortions and other reproductive health care services for minors as young as 14.
In one of the videos, the actor posing as the pimp asks a Planned Parenthood clinician how long his workers would have to wait before returning to work after obtaining an abortion.
When the clinician responds that they could not be sexually active for at least two weeks, the man inquires as to whether they could do anything else during that time, because “they still gotta make money, you know?”
“Waist up,” the Planned Parenthood employee says. “Waist up. Or just be that extra action walking by.”
That employee, later identified as the manager of a Planned Parenthood clinic in New Jersey, was fired after the video was released.
Much like the 2015 Center for Medical Progress videos alleging Planned Parenthood trafficks in fetal body parts from abortions, the Live Action videos became a national scandal, prompting House Republicans, led by then-Rep. Mike Pence, to seek to defund Planned Parenthood.
Despite the publicity surrounding the video investigation, Live Action founder Lila Rose said Planned Parenthood never took its results seriously.
“Well, Planned Parenthood’s response to the fact that seven of their facilities and high-level staffers were caught on tape aiding and abetting child sex trafficking was more of the same,” Ms. Rose said. “Instead of solving the problem, they lied to cover up the problem further.”
After the videos surfaced in early 2011, Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards sent a letter to then-Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. telling him the abortion provider would “comply with applicable state laws relating to reporting of suspected instances of conduct that endangers the welfare of minors.”
But Live Action filed Freedom of Information Act requests with justice, police and child services departments in the five jurisdictions — Arizona, New Jersey, New York, Virginia and Washington, D.C. — where the investigation was conducted. It could find evidence that Planned Parenthood contacted authorities only in Arizona.
Planned Parenthood could not be reached for comment.
Ms. Rose said the absence of a more robust paper trail indicates Planned Parenthood tried not only to “aid and abet sex traffickers, but they also did not report them to authorities as they claimed to.”
The allegation is another blow for Planned Parenthood, which could be defunded by a unified Republican federal government as early as next month.
Live Action will release videos over the next two weeks rebutting Planned Parenthood’s claim that women’s health would suffer if its federal funding is redirected toward women’s clinics that do not provide abortions.
Ms. Rose said Congress shouldn’t forget about the previous allegations against Planned Parenthood when considering whether to defund the nation’s largest abortion provider.
“When confronted with child sex traffickers, Planned Parenthood cared more about protecting its image than protecting children,” she said.