It’s no secret that most of the media supports Planned Parenthood, and is more than happy to carry water for them. Yet they still go out of their way to maintain secrecy, even among people who arguably could be considered allies. Planned Parenthood has evidently begun asking media outlets to sign NDAs — or non-disclosure agreements — and it seems to be because they’re worried about what people might discover.
Planned Parenthood recently attempted to host a media happy hour. The only problem was, according to Vice, the abortion corporation also requested that attendees sign NDAs, which Vice did not appreciate. After their reporter, Carter Sherman, refused to sign and told them she planned to write about their use of NDAs for reporters, they responded by saying it was a “mistake,” and e-mailed all of the journalists to tell them they didn’t need to sign it.
“Planned Parenthood is proud of the work we do to ensure that journalists and editors have access to the incredible staff, patients, services, and education that we provide,” Erica Sackin, senior director of communications for Planned Parenthood, told Vice. “We pride ourselves on our transparency, and our support for freedom of the press as a pillar of our democracy.”
There’s just one problem with that argument: this isn’t a one-time slip-up. As Sherman pointed out, she had been asked to sign one before, and she had refused then, too. “In 2018, when I was signing up to cover the organization’s “Power of Pink” volunteer training in Detroit, I realized that the registration included signing an NDA that would restrict me from sharing ‘confidential information’,” Sherman explaned. “That essentially included anything I learned ‘through any means of communication or observation’ from anyone affiliated with Planned Parenthood, which has positioned itself as a bulwark against an administration that regularly attacks press credibility.”
Sherman was able to attend, but “it took a few days and the organization’s tech team had to build a special online backdoor to bypass that part of the registration.” And for the happy hour, they initially told Sherman that “having attendees agree to NDAs was standard policy at all Planned Parenthood events,” which was the same thing she was told in 2018. This stifles not only on free speech and journalistic integrity, but also gives Planned Parenthood considerable power.
“Whether it’s an association like Planned Parenthood or a corporation, it’s just giving them the ability to essentially control the narrative,” Jane Kirtley, director of the Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law at the University of Minnesota, told Vice. But Sherman claimed in her article that this is somewhat justified, thanks to undercover investigations from “non-journalists”– her words — like Live Action and the Center for Medical Progress, even reiterating the old claim that these undercover videos have been “deceptively edited.” (This has long been proven false, and Planned Parenthood’s attorneys even admitted in court that the statements in CMP’s videos were indeed made by their employees.) But the larger question is still unanswered. Planned Parenthood claims they are perfectly innocent, that abortion is not their priority, and that they only want to provide health care to women.
If all of this is true, then what do they have to hide? Quite a lot, actually. Undercover investigations have found that Planned Parenthood engages in all manner of unethical behaviors. Live Action’s own investigations have uncovered numerous issues at the abortion corporation, including:
- Aiding sex abuse of children
- Lying about providing health care
- Covering up child sex trafficking
- Covering up child sex abuse
- Giving harmful sex advice to teenagers
- Accepting racially-motivated donations
- Dispensing medical misinformation
- Approving sex-selective abortion
- Lying about providing prenatal care
The problem with many of Live Action’s investigations is that they aren’t just theoretical. It doesn’t just affect undercover actors; tragically, there are numerous real-life examples of Planned Parenthood covering up crimes across the country — or committing them firsthand. The most recent example of this, however, comes from the Center for Medical Progress, which exposed the abortion industry’s trafficking in the body parts of aborted babies. This breaks multiple laws, and that’s not all Planned Parenthood was found to be doing. The Center for Medical Progress also caught Planned Parenthood breaking other laws, including participating in illegal partial-birth abortions and illegally manipulating abortion procedures. They were also reported to be killing babies born alive after abortions so they could harvest their organs.
Unsurprisingly, Planned Parenthood became vindictive, and filed a retaliatory lawsuit in California against the Center for Medical Progress — and won. (The Center for Medical Progress has already announced its intent to appeal.) So why is there any surprise that Planned Parenthood would want to silence journalists? There’s a lot at stake for them, after all. Who knows what else has yet to be discovered that’s happening behind their closed doors?
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