YouTube Bans Student Group’s Video Showing Abuse at Planned Parenthood, Group Protests Politically Motivated Censorship

Contact: 323.454.3304, media@liveaction.org

MONTGOMERY, July 21 –  In a censorship that appears politically motivated, the popular video-sharing site YouTube has blocked a video critical of Planned Parenthood made by the student-led nonprofit Live Action. The video shows a Planned Parenthood clinic in Birmingham offering to “bend the rules” of Alabama’s parental consent and mandatory reporting laws in order to cover up statutory rape with a secret abortion, and has spurred an investigation by the state Attorney General’s Office into the nation’s largest abortion provider.

YouTube offered no prior warning or specific explanation for removing the video, which contains no apparent violations of YouTube’s “community guidelines.”  After remaining up for ten days, the video had several thousand views and had been linked to by many news organizations. YouTube has previously censored Live Action videos, and the latest removal casts further doubt on the video-sharing site’s professed regard for free speech and political neutrality.

Lila Rose, 20-year-old president of Live Action, says YouTube should not side with Planned Parenthood, especially in light of its incriminating behavior. “It is an outrage for YouTube to arbitrarily censor a video that has sparked a state investigation and national concern,” said Rose. “The people of Alabama and the public at large have a right to know how Planned Parenthood really treats vulnerable young girls.”

In the video, a Planned Parenthood staffer named “Tanisha” tells Rose, posing as a 14-year-old impregnated by her 31-year-old “boyfriend,”
that “whatever you tell us stays within these walls.” Tanisha also says that Dr. Desiree Bates, the OB-GYN manager of the clinic, “does bend the rules a little bit” regarding compliance with mandatory reporting laws and parental consent laws for abortion. To date, Planned Parenthood has offered no public apology for the incident and no formal admission of guilt, but has offered to “conduct an internal, fact-based review.” Planned Parenthood is now under investigation by the state Attorney General’s office.

Alabama Attorney General Troy King has called the video’s content “extremely troubling,” and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said, “Anyone who sees [the video] should be disturbed by it.” The video is the sixth produced by the student-led nonprofit Live Action in its “Mona Lisa Project,” revealing what appears to be the systematic coverup of sexual abuse by Planned Parenthood.

Rose also stated that her group released a full version of the undercover footage to the public today: “Even as Planned Parenthood covers up sexual abuse and YouTube bans the evidence, we will continue to make the facts available to the public. Everyone should be allowed to view the footage and draw their own conclusions about illicit activity at Planned Parenthood.”

Learn more about The Mona Lisa Project, Live Action’s multi-state investigation of Planned Parenthood here: www.liveaction.org/monalisa