After using clandestine tactics to investigate Planned Parenthood, Lila Rose, 20, has become known as an anti-abortion crusader. She staged her own sting at the clinics to prove her claim that the organization routinely covers up sexual abuse. She says Planned Parenthood counselors don’t report statutory rapes, as the law requires, and often encourage the girls to lie about their age or the identity of their partner. “Planned Parenthood is looking at these young girls as a plumbing problem: ‘We’ll get you that abortion and send you on your way,’” Rose told Reuters in an interview. “And that’s disrespecting two human lives. It’s destroying her pre-born child and sending her back to an abuser.” She has posted her secretly recorded videos on the website for her non-profit group, LiveAction.org, which she started at age 15. Rose launched her investigation after she became aware that Planned Parenthood was sued by girls who said the clinics ignored their sexual abuse and then read a study that said the practice was common. In March 2007, the then-18-year-old Rose walked into two Los Angeles-area Planned Parenthood clinics with a hidden camera and told the staff she was 15 and pregnant by her 23-year-old boyfriend. At the first center, she was encouraged to lie about her age. Counselors at the second aggressively encouraged her to have an abortion.
Rose has conducted stings at six clinics since then, posing as a 13- or 14-year-old girl carrying a much older man’s baby. She says staffers at all six centers said her age wasn’t their concern, and that they wouldn’t report it and then instructed her to lie in three instances. “The laws are set up so that the children don’t have to ask for help. It’s the job of mandated reporters to be looking at this girl and figuring out her well being. Is she OK? Who is her sexual partner?” Rose said. “And it’s set up that way because these girls are dealing with shame, fear, manipulation. They can’t say, ‘Hey, he’s 21, make the report please.’”
Rose’s photo has been posted in Planned Parenthood clinics to alert workers and a U.S. News and World Report blogger has demanded to know why Rose hasn’t been arrested for fraud or trespassing. But her investigations have prompted three states to look into the matter. A grand jury in Marion County, IN, is investigating Planned Parenthood based on the videotapes. Tennessee and Arizona authorities say they are reviewing the matter.
A Planned Parenthood spokesman wouldn’t discuss the cases involving Rose, but said the organization has strict mandatory reporting policies and procedures and laws to protect minors are taken seriously. Does this alleged practice at Planned Parenthood clinics come as a surprise to you? Do you think girls would still seek help and treatment if they knew the risk to their older boyfriends or abusers? Let us know in the comments. [Reuters]