Three problems with David Sessions’ AOL opinion piece on Planned Parenthood

On March 8th, AOL featured an opinion piece by David Sessions titled, “Planned Parenthood and the Stories We Tell Ourselves” that contained a few major flaws. America Online

1) False Credit for Planned Parenthood’s Reaction

The article states:

Shortly afterward, Planned Parenthood wrote to the Justice Department and the FBI to report the suspicious visitors.

The facts:

Planned Parenthood wrote to the Justice Department on January 18th, 2011, which is 3 to 7 days after Live Action investigated their clinics. Is writing a letter 3 to 7 days later “shortly afterward” when dealing with reporting a child sex trafficking ring? With such an urgent matter, why didn’t Planned Parenthood write the Justice Department within 24 hours of suspecting child sex trafficking? Or better, why didn’t Planned Parenthood call the Justice Department? The statement by David Sessions gives the impression that Planned Parenthood acted promptly when the evidence suggests that they acted in an unacceptably slow manner.

Planned Parenthood’s letter failed to list New York where Live Action has released an investigative video from already but Sessions did not mention that point. Also, Planned Parenthood’s letter to the DOJ listed Indiana as a state that they suspected sex trafficking or investigation when Live Action had not visited Indiana as part of this investigation. In short, whether Planned Parenthood acted “shortly afterward” is highly debateable and it is clear that their letter to the FBI did not report all the investigations.

2) Stating an Unestablished Event as Fact

The article states:

They [Planned Parenthood] answered the questions and notified the authorities immediately afterward.

The facts:

Planned Parenthood has not released documentation showing what law enforcement they contacted and when. They have simply covered their tracks by pointing to the belated letter that they wrote to the Justice Department.

Out of 7 clinic videos released, in only two cases (Roanoke and Charlottesville) has Planned Parenthood publicly said what local law enforcement they contacted.

In the case of Charlottesville, they claimed they contacted the local Albemarle police but they reported to the media that they have no record of a child sex abuse report coming from Planned Parenthood.

In the case of Roanoke, it appeared that Planned Parenthood staff did the right thing and promptly contacted local law enforcement. Doing the right thing in 1 of 7 cases is not a good record. Of course the Roanoke investigation did find Planned Parenthood staff giving egregious medical advice, recommending to our reporter who said he may have an  STDs that he can go donate blood to avoid paying for an STD test.

3) Falsely Calling the Videos “Misleading” Without Providing Any Evidence

The article states:

The Lila Rose videos weren’t the first time activists have trumped up misleading videos to score political points.

The facts:

The videos aren’t misleading. In fact all 7 videos released to-date are available here in their uncut entirety for anyone to watch. Falsely stating that something is misleading without evidence is what is really misleading. Knowingly doing that is a smear. Whether this statement is an error or a smear, only David Sessions knows but what is known is that it is incorrect.

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