MONTGOMERY, Alabama, July 7 — Alabama Attorney General Troy King has called a new undercover video released last week showing Planned Parenthood of Alabama apparently breaking state mandatory reporting laws for sexual abuse “extremely troubling” and requested the full recordings. The student-led nonprofit responsible for the recordings, Live Action, immediately sent the full footage, which the Attorney General’s office received yesterday.
The video shows a Planned Parenthood staffer, identified as “Tanisha,” telling a purportedly 14-year-old girl with a 31-year-old “boyfriend” that Planned Parenthood “does sometimes bend the rules a little bit” when it comes to reporting statutory rape to state authorities. Despite strong parental consent laws in Alabama, “Tanisha” also explains that a person with the “same last name” as the 14-year-old would suffice as a guardian or parent to sign off for the minor’s abortion. In an interview last week, King said, “If that tape is an accurate depiction of what’s happening, that’s very troubling,” and “if that video is true and accurate and correct, it’s extremely troubling from a legal and moral point of view.”
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office has also expressed concern about the contents of the video and warned of potential repercussions for Planned Parenthood. Lt. Randy Christian said: “Anyone who sees that should be disturbed by it, and I hope they’re disturbed by it. For a 31 year old to have sex with a 14 year old, that is rape in the second degree. I think they are not only morally obligated to report it – the law requires them to report it, and there could be some serious consequences otherwise.”
Lila Rose, president of Live Action and the UCLA student who went undercover posing as the 14-year-old in the video, called for a thorough state investigation of Planned Parenthood: “Attorney General King should use this evidence to subpoena records and witness testimony from Planned Parenthood of Alabama and the state Department of Human Resources.”
Rose notes that in 2006, three Alabama abortion clinics were placed on probation after an investigation found them operating outside state regulations. King said of the current allegations, “We have knowledge that the law may have been broken and I think we’re compelled at that point to see if it has or not.”
“Attorney General King is absolutely correct,” says Rose. “How many other rapes has this single clinic covered up? When mandatory reporters at Planned Parenthood can ‘bend the rules a little bit’ in service of their abortion-first mentality and put vulnerable young girls at risk, someone needs to stand up and put a stop to it.”