(January 17, 2017) – A new Live Action investigation shows that Planned Parenthood lied to the media after employees were caught on camera attempting to aid and abet sex traffickers prostituting 14- and 15-year-old girls. A former Planned Parenthood manager recently revealed that while the abortion giant claimed in 2011 that it was retraining thousands of staff to identify child sex traffickers, it instead trained them how to identify undercover journalists investigating its facilities.
Live Action also used public records requests to check the abortion chain’s claim that it had reported the suspected sex traffickers to authorities. The responses from law enforcement show that Planned Parenthood failed repeatedly to report the suspected crimes to local police departments, state police, or even child protective services.
In January 2011, Live Action investigators posing as pimps prostituting minor girls visited Planned Parenthood facilities asking about getting them abortions and sexually transmitted infections testing.
After Live Action released the undercover footage exposing Planned Parenthood employees at seven facilities aiding the sex traffickers by suggesting how to get abortions and birth control for their 14- and 15-year-old victims, the abortion chain claimed to the media that it would retrain thousands of staff members across the country to properly report suspected sexual abuse of minors to authorities.
But in a new interview with Live Action president Lila Rose, former Sherman, TX, Planned Parenthood manager Ramona Treviño said that instead of helping employees identify and report potential abuse, the training sessions instructed staff how to identify undercover journalists and whether they were being recorded.
“That experience for me left me so disgusted that I couldn’t see how Planned Parenthood could ever redeem themselves after that,” Treviño said after attending one of the highly publicized training seminars in 2011.
“When confronted with child sex traffickers, Planned Parenthood cared more about protecting its image than protecting children,” said Lila Rose, president and founder of Live Action.
The abortion chain also claimed in 2011 that it had “been in contact with federal and local authorities” to identify Live Action’s suspected sex traffickers who had visited its facilities.
In 2015 and 2016, Live Action made a series of Freedom of Information Act records requests of law enforcement and child protective services in the states and cities where the alleged trafficking occurred. The responses show that out of five states and Washington, D.C., only one state — Arizona — had responsive records showing Planned Parenthood reported anything to authorities.
“It appears that many media outlets simply took Planned Parenthood’s word that it reported the suspected child sex traffickers to the proper local authorities,” said Rose.
Research shows that about 30 percent of actual sex trafficking victims come in contact with Planned Parenthood facilities. If Planned Parenthood is failing to report these real incidents to authorities, these victims may be losing any chance to escape their abusers. Dr. Laura Lederer, former senior advisor for trafficking in persons for the U.S. Department of State, reported:
“Survivors [of human trafficking] also had significant contact with clinical treatment facilities, most commonly Planned Parenthood clinics, which more than a quarter of survivors (29.6%) visited. … Since pimps and traffickers generally exercise nearly complete control of their victims, these points of contact with healthcare represent rare opportunities for victim identification and intervention.”
More issues with Planned Parenthood’s story
Nearly a week after the first of Live Action’s undercover visits to Planned Parenthood facilities, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards wrote a letter to then-Attorney General Eric Holder reporting the visits.
She claimed that the suspected sex traffickers visited Planned Parenthood facilities in Arizona, Virginia, Indiana, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C. However, she failed to identify the New York facility that investigators visited and she wrongly identified a facility in Indiana that investigators never visited. It appears that the New York facility didn’t report the suspected trafficking and that a real trafficking incident may have occurred in Indiana under Planned Parenthood’s nose.
Richards also told Holder that staff “made it clear” to the suspected traffickers that staff would comply with state laws requiring them to report the possibility of endangered children. Live Action’s video footage shows that staff never told the investigators anything like that.
“If Planned Parenthood can provide proof that it actually tried to protect children it thought were being forced into prostitution by reporting the suspected crimes to local law enforcement, we’d love to see the evidence,” said Rose.
Live Action’s Freedom of Information Act records requests were sent to local, state, and federal agencies and asked for copies of any and all public records that related to reports of alleged sex traffickers at the various Planned Parenthood facilities.
Live Action’s 2011 human trafficking undercover videos can be seen here.