Anti-abortion activists from Southern California have released a second video tape in as many weeks showing Planned Parenthood of Indiana clinic employees violating state law.
Live Action Films, a student "human rights movement dedicated to the respect and protection of all human life including the unborn," at UCLA is responsible for the videos.
The first video, shot last June, shows 20-year-old Live Action President Lila Rose posing as a 13-year-old girl who has come to a Planned Parenthood clinic in Bloomington seeking an abortion after being impregnated by a much older male. "He's maybe 31," she tells the nurse.
The employee, "Diana," is shown telling Rose that she "doesn't want to know" how old the boyfriend is because then she would have to report it to Child Protective Services. She is also shown suggesting that the girl lie about her boyfriend's age to avoid getting herself or him in any trouble.
Indiana state law defines all sexual activity by girls under 14 as child molestation, a class B felony if her male partner is under 21 and a class A felony if he is over 21, and requires health care workers like those at Planned Parenthood clinics to report the sexual activity to CPS.
On the video, the clinic employee also provides Rose with a list of options for seeking an abortion in states where parental consent is not required for an underage girl to receive an abortion, as it is in Indiana where consent is required for all females under 18 years of age.
The clinic employee has since been fired.
In a statement released last Thursday, Betty Cockrum, Planned Parenthood of Indiana's president and CEO, said the worker violated the group's policies on reporting abuse.
"It is clear the actions by the employee in question were unacceptable. A thorough internal review of this matter has taken place and the health center assistant shown in the video is no longer employed by PPIN," the statement said.
Additionally, all employees of the network's 35 Indiana health centers have been retrained on reporting procedures and policies, according to Cockrum. "We will continue to review and update our policies and procedures as appropriate to ensure that all of our employees are meeting the high standards we demand."
Planned Parenthood hoped that the isolated incident was behind them following the employee's dismissal. On Tuesday, however, a second video was released by Live Action Films that was shot in Indianapolis and shows the same practices by PPIN employees as the video shot in Bloomington.
Rose and a partner, claiming to be a cousin, also had an appointment at the Georgetown Road clinic on the same day as the Bloomington video was shot. Her story of being a 13-year-old pregnant by a 31-year-old was repeated, as was the response by Planned Parenthood.
In the second video, released Tuesday, a Planned Parenthood worker explains that Indiana state law requires parental consent for a 13-year-old to receive an abortion and then advises Rose to do some research about the clinics in other states where there is no similar law.
When Rose tells the clinic worker that she is afraid her much older boyfriend will get in trouble if the pregnancy is found out, the worker says, "I don't want to know how old he is."
Contacted immediately after the release of the second video by Live Action, Kate Shepherd, director of communications for Planned Parenthood of Indiana, said, "We take this very seriously.
"We have not seen the unedited version of the [second] video yet, so we haven't been able to identify the employee or verify that it is our clinic and employee," Shepherd said. "We still have a lot of questions."
One question Shepherd is quick to answer, however, is whether or not Planned Parenthood is following the law in cases involving pregnant minors.
"It is our policy to abide by state law and all of our employees are trained to do so. They've been retrained in this area over the past two weeks."
Attorney general steps in
The release of the first video made national headlines last week, including an appearance by Lila Rose on the FOX News show The O'Reilly Factor. It also served as a catalyst for increased opposition and protests by local anti-abortion organizations as well as an investigation by Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter.
Because Rose was only posing as a 13-year-old, and wasn't really pregnant at the time of her Planned Parenthood visits, CPS and law enforcement will not pursue charges against PPIN, since there was no actual child abuse or a failure to report that abuse.
However, Right to Life of Indianapolis President Marc Tuttle, National Director of American Life League's Stop Planned Parenthood International Jim Sedlak, co-director of the Indianapolis 40 Days for Life prayer vigil Eric Slaughter and other Central Indiana pro-life leaders gathered this past Saturday morning at the Planned Parenthood clinic on Georgetown Road for a prayer vigil and press conference to request Carter investigate Planned Parenthood.
"While Planned Parenthood claims to be in the business of promoting health, their own counselors appear to thumb their noses at child abuse reporting laws and parental notification laws," Tuttle said.
"Far from advocating the 'health' of young women, Planned Parenthood is profiting by covering up their abuse. We are requesting Attorney General Carter investigate Planned Parenthood and act to protect our state's young women."
In 2005, Planned Parenthood of Indiana went to court to block the state's attorney general from seizing the confidential medical records of its clients as part of similar investigation into whether or not PPIN was adhering to state law and reporting the sexual activity of girls under 14 years of age.
At the time, Carter used Indiana's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit to seize the patient records, a move Cockrum described as "a clear-cut case of abuse of power" and a "fishing expedition."
"There is no cause for any investigation ... at all times Planned Parenthood has complied with Indiana and federal law," the lawsuit claimed. "Planned Parenthood of Indiana recognizes and has imposed standards and procedures to insure that it abides by its statutory duties to report alleged child abuse and neglect."
The court sided with Planned Parenthood at the time and Carter was unable to continue the investigation.
Now, however, Planned Parenthood opponents think the outcome will be different, and hopefully lead to similar investigations across the country.
"We're thankful Attorney General Carter has decided to investigate," Sedlak said in a statement released on Tuesday. "Now the question is, how rampant is this abuse across the nation? It's time this organization is exposed, investigated and condemned for its role in enabling this devastating and heartbreaking abuse. Planned Parenthood is throwing women and children back into the hands of their abusers."