Cutting Room Floor: Live Action Edited Out Adoption Discussion

Earlier today, anti-choice activist Lila Rose and her group Live Action released a heavily edited video designed to falsely portray a Planned Parenthood employee as having helped an activist posing as a patient get an abortion because of the sex of the fetus. While the edited video includes less than seven minutes of clinic footage, the full video runs for a more than an hour, and the activist's encounter with the employee featured in the video lasts for more than 30 minutes.

So, what did Live Action edit out of the finished product? That the Planned Parenthood employee brought up the idea of giving the child up for adoption, that the employee declined to refer the activist to an OB/GYN who “would be understanding of [the activist's] situation,” and that the employee repeatedly noted that the activist's decision about whether to have a sex-selective abortion would be hers alone.

Despite Live Action's suggestions in the edited video, at no point did the Planned Parenthood employee encourage the activist to undergo a sex-selective abortion.

The edited video leaves the following on the cutting room floor:

  • The employee asked the activist, “And have you guys -- you know, 'cause we're required to discuss all of the, you know, a patient's options -- is adoption something that you were interested in considering?” [53:45]
  • After the activist claimed she used a test designed to identify the sex of a fetus early in a pregnancy, the employee responded, “I'm also a social worker and not a medical provider, so, you know, so from, you know, my role here, that isn't something I've ever heard of.” [40:10]
  • The employee asked the activist, “And have you decided that you -- you know, have you definitely decided that you would like to terminate your pregnancy?” [38:40]
  • The activist asked whether Planned Parenthood had an OB/GYN it would “specifically ... recommend” who “would be understanding of my situation.” The employee responded, “I really -- no, I don't really know of an OB/GYN prenatal doctor who -- I can tell you that they do prenatal care. I can tell you that they, you know, that they would be able to do these tests for you. I can't really say that there's going to be someone in particular who is going to be necessarily understanding. Most OB/GYN doctors, hopefully, you know, are understanding that it's a woman's choice to decide if she's interested in adoption, if she's interested in prenatal care, if she's interested in terminating. And whatever somebody's decision is for having an abortion is really her choice.” [49:30]

Planned Parenthood's stated policy is that “no Planned Parenthood clinic will deny a woman an abortion based on her reasons for wanting one, except in those states that explicitly prohibit sex-selective abortions (Arizona, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Illinois).” Planned Parenthood has said the unedited video “demonstrates nonjudgmental, informative services that are in accordance with social work standards for patient interaction.”

As we've noted, the video is part of Live Action's effort to manufacture evidence that Planned Parenthood facilitates gender-based abortion -- even though statistics show that sex-selective abortion simply does not happen with any regularity in the United States, as the vast majority of abortions are performed before gender is detectable, and the gender birth ratio in America is close to even.