Militantly anti-abortion rights group Live Action sure acted like it had exposed some big-time fuckery in its latest Planned Parenthood hidden camera sting operation. From a casual observer's perspective, the sting captured what appears to be footage of a Planned Parenthood employee enthusiastically endorsing sex-selective abortion for a woman who claimed that she didn't want another baby girl. But this edition, like every other undercover sting video Live Action has ever produced, was edited heavily, omitting key moments in the interaction and artificially making Planned Parenthood look artificially bad. I'm shocked!
Not that the original sting video Live Action released was that damning to begin with — a swift response statement from Planned Parenthood clarified that employees of the family planning organization are to follow a specific protocol in sensitive situations like the one presented by the Live Action actor, and that the employee featured in the video didn't follow protocol.
Regardless, the employee did do a few things that weren't included in Live Action's final cut. For one thing, the employee asked the pregnant woman if they'd considered adoption instead of abortion. She also declined to give credence to tests that purport to help couples determine the sex of the fetus early in pregnancy. She also asked the woman if she was sure, 100% sure, that she wanted to terminate her pregnancy. When the Live Action actress asked the Planned Parenthood if there was a specific doctor she'd recommend to perform a sex-selective abortion, the Planned Parenthood employee said she didn't know of any provider who specifically specialized in sex selection.
Media Matters points out that Planned Parenthood's specific policy with respect to sex selective abortions is "no Planned Parenthood clinic will deny a woman an abortion based on her reasons for wanting one, except in those states that explicitly prohibit sex-selective abortions (Arizona, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Illinois)." As well they should. It's no one's business why a woman wants an abortion.
Live Action cast a pretty wide net for this hoax; according to Planned Parenthood, several facilities in at least a dozen states were targeted before they realized what was going on. And if after all that, this is the worst footage they could dig up, maybe Live Action should consider switching the style up a little bit. Or trying to address real problems.