Tool-in-pimp’s-clothing James O’Keefe’s laughable costume and douchebag seduction methods have mostly discredited his conservative hidden-camera hijinks. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Lila Rose, a 22-year-old whose organization, Live Action: a “new media movement for life,” is using hidden cameras to discredit Planned Parenthood and garnering mainstream and political attention. Rose started Live Action at age 15 (see Bitch magazine #44, “Smile–You’re on Conservative Candid Camera”), and began her video activism started out posing as a 13-year-old pregnant from an older man. The idea behind Live Action Films is to “catch” Planned Parenthood breaking federal laws in order to discredit them–so that even the most pro-choiciest pro-choicer can’t disagree that Planned Parenthood is doing wrong. (Live Action Films calls this Planned Parenthood’s “abortion-first mentality”).
Rose’s latest sting involved a supposed pimp visiting several Planned Parenthoods inquiring about getting services for what was implied to be underage, trafficked girls. The idea was to get Planned Parenthood to not report to the cops. (They did.) But that’s not what Live Action would have you believe. Just because this anti-choice agenda is on videotape doesn’t make it any less sensical than an “Embryos are people too!” placard. The videos were doctored and edited (reality-TV style!) to make it appear like Planned Parenthood is lying and irresponsible. (Read Planned Parenthood’s response here.) Amanda Marcotte, writing for the Guardian, notes how out of the many Planned Parenthoods Live Action hit up, only one New Jersey Planned Parenthood employee (now fired) acted illegally and irresponsibly. And that at the end of the day, the videos only further prove that Planned Parenthood was complying with the law:
The actors repeatedly verify that they have the right to confidentiality, and the sometimes exasperated workers assure them that yes, what you tell a doctor or a nurse is confidential. Yes, even minors, people who don’t speak English, and self-confessed sex workers. Audience members are clearly supposed to be outraged at this – who gives such people rights?! – but, of course, the employees are in the right. Excepting a few situations where reporting is mandatory (and in those situations, Planned Parenthood did the requisite reporting), it is actually illegal for healthcare workers to violate confidentiality. In other words, Lila Rose is denigrating Planned Parenthood for following the law.
But Rose’s meddlings can’t be dismissed away as sloppy journalism–that would mean there was justice in the world. Republican Representative Mike Pence is using these videos to make a case to federally defund Planned Parenthood, saying “it’s an outrage to me that employees of Planned Parenthood clinics across the country are facilitating the abuse of minor girls in this country”–conveniently leaving out the fact that Planned Parenthood did report to the FBI. Plus, Planned Parenthood isn’t allowed to use any government funds for abortion, so this would simply defund the organization’s other family planning and health services, like STD testing, birth control, and cancer screenings. Talk about scandal and outrage. Read More: The Anti-Abortion Lobby’s Gotcha Tactics [The Guardian] The Seige of Planned Parenthood [New York Times] House GOP Declares War on Planned Parenthood [Mother Jones] House committee proposes completely eliminating the Title X family planning program [Feministing]