2 Arizona Planned Parenthood clinics targeted in nationwide Internet sting

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by Catherine Holland

azfamily.com

Posted on January 30, 2011 at 8:13 PM

PHOENIX -- Two Arizona Planned Parenthood clinics have been targeted in a multi-state Internet sting. The organization does not speak out often, but felt it was necessary in this case.

"I think this crosses the boundaries," said Bryan Howard of Planned Parenthood Arizona.

Two weeks ago, a man visited two Planned Parenthood offices -- one in Tucson and one in Scottsdale -- claiming to be a sex trafficker. According to Howard, the man indicated that the girls who work for him were either in the country illegally or very young.

The staffs at the two centers were suspicious. They had been warned that a man with a similar story had visited offices in several other states.

Two years ago, a group called Live Action launched a multi-state sting that included offices in Arizona.

A woman posing as a 15-year-old said she wanted an abortion but did not want to get in trouble because her boyfriend was 27. If it were true, the boyfriend could face felony charges. According to Live Action, a staff member allegedly told the girl they don't ask any questions.

"These heavily edited exposes are not a reflection of the reality of Planned Parenthood," Howard said of the Live Action video.

Howard said he believes Live Action is behind the recent visits.

According to a December posting on LiveAction.org, "Live Action, the youth-led pro-life group responsible for exposing statutory rape cover-up, racism, and medical misinformation at Planned Parenthood, is preparing to launch several major investigations of the abortion industry next year."

This kind of investigation is part of Live Action's Mona Lisa Project, which "document[s] Planned Parenthood's willingness to repeatedly violate mandatory reporting laws for statutory rape that protect children."

"Planned Parenthood has been in the spotlight in the past for turning a blind eye to to underage clients who report to them incidents of sexual conduct with a minor, incest, and child sexual abuse," said Arizona Right to Life president John Garcia in an email to 3TV.

"Through the efforts of many brave individuals, allegations have been made that Planned Parenthood does not report these cases to law enforcement as they are required.

"Legitimate medical facilities are all required by law to report any suspected crimes such as rape, child abuse, incest, etc. I am not surprised that organizations like Live Action are trying to get the truth out about Planned Parenthood's actions and inactions.

"Planned Parenthood touts that it is only concerned about a woman's health and well-being, yet they appear to turn their backs on the law when it comes to reporting child abuse, rape and incest. Where's their concern in those cases?"

Howard says Planned Parenthood is concerned and that Live Action is wasting its time.

"We take very seriously our duty -- our legal obligation -- to report incidents of statutory rape involving young people," he said.

While it is against the law to make an false report to law enforcement, it's not illegal to make a false report to an organization.

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