Right-wing media are hyping discredited conservative activist Lila Rose's latest Planned Parenthood smear video which purports to implicate the organization in a rampant problem with sex-selective abortion in the United States. But the facts debunk Rose's latest attack on Planned Parenthood, and Rose and her group have repeatedly whittled away any credibility with previous smear campaigns against Planned Parenthood.
Lila Rose Releases Latest Planned Parenthood Smear Video
Lila Rose Releases Video Accusing Planned Parenthood Of Facilitating Rampant “Gendercide” In America. On May 29, anti-choice activist Lila Rose and her group, Live Action, released a video purporting to show a Planned Parenthood clinic worker in Austin, Texas, discussing health care options with a woman who claimed to want to terminate her pregnancy if she were “carrying a girl.” Live Action's accompanying petition suggested that Planned Parenthood is complicit in "[w]idespread sex-selection by means of abortion." [Live Action, 5/29/12; ProtectOurGirls.com, 5/29/12]
But Evidence Debunks Rose's Planned Parenthood “Gendercide” Claims
The Gender Ratio At Birth In America Is “Squarely Within Biologically Normal Parameters.” According to the CIA's World Factbook, the gender ratio at birth in the United States is 1.05 males to females, a rate that the Guttmacher Institute calls “squarely within biologically normal parameters.” [CIA, World Factbook, accessed 5/29/12; Guttmacher Policy Review, Spring 2012]
Most Abortions In U.S. Are Performed Before The Baby's Gender Is Identifiable. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that in 2008, 91.4 percent of abortions were performed before the 13th week of pregnancy. Robert Shmerling of Harvard Health Publications noted that gender identification by means of ultrasound, by far the most common method, is usually only available by the 16th to 20th week. [CDC, accessed 5/29/12; Harvard Health Publications, accessed 5/29/12, via MSN]
Planned Parenthood Officials: Planned Parenthood “Finds The Concept Of Sex Selection Deeply Unsettling.” In an April 23 column, Planned Parenthood's Leslie Kantor and Carolyn Westhoff noted that Planned Parenthood “finds the concept of sex selection deeply unsettling” and the organization “does not offer sex determination services; our ultrasound services are limited to medical purposes.” Kantor and Westhoff further noted:
Planned Parenthood condemns sex selection motivated by gender bias, and urges leaders to challenge the underlying conditions that lead to these beliefs and practices, including addressing the social, legal, economic, and political conditions that promote gender bias and lead some to value one gender over the other. [RH Reality Check, 4/23/12]
Lila Rose Has Repeatedly Used False Claims And Hoax Videos To Smear Planned Parenthood
Rose Claimed She Caught Planned Parenthood Covering Up Child Sex Trafficking -- She Didn't. In February 2011, Rose and Live Action released a series of videos claiming to expose “Planned Parenthood's cover-up of child sex trafficking.” But the videos released by Live Action failed to prove the charge; in fact, at least two weeks before Live Action released the first video, Planned Parenthood reported a “potential multistate sex trafficking ring” to the FBI, which Live Action never acknowledged in their smear campaign. [Media Matters, 2/1/11; 2/22/11]
Rose Falsely Claimed Planned Parenthood Lied About Providing Mammograms. In March 2011, Rose promoted a video falsely claiming to catch Planned Parenthood lying about the organization's work providing patients with access to cancer screenings, including mammograms. The comments Rose highlighted did not contradict the undisputed fact that Planned Parenthood provides patients with access to these services. [Media Matters, 3/30/11]
Rose Launched False Attack On Planned Parenthood And Indiana Law. In June 2011, Rose accused Planned Parenthood of lying about the effects of an Indiana law which would withhold Medicaid funding from Planned Parenthood. In reality, the video failed to prove that Planned Parenthood was lying and actually showed that its concerns about the law were accurate: a Planned Parenthood worker in Indiana said in the video that because of the “new law,” a Medicaid recipient cannot get preventive care at Planned Parenthood. [Media Matters, 6/29/11]
Rose Falsehood: Abortion Is How Indiana Planned Parenthood “Makes Money.” During an appearance on Fox News, Rose claimed that abortions are “how [Planned Parenthood] makes money” in Indiana. In fact, in 2010, abortions accounted for 3.56 percent of Planned Parenthood of Indiana's total services, and abortions account for only about 16 percent of Planned Parenthood of Indiana's revenue. [Media Matters, 6/30/11]
Rose: Planned Parenthood Using Breast Cancer As a “Front” To Garner “Public Funding For An Abortion Business.” During a February 3 appearance on CNN contributor Dana Loesch's radio show, Rose accused Planned Parenthood of using “an issue like breast cancer, which has hurt so many American women, they're using this issue as a front to get -- garner public support and public funding for an abortion business.” [KFTK, The Dana Show, 2/3/12]
For the truth about Planned Parenthood's extensive cancer-related services, see here.
Despite Her Lack Of Credibility, Right-Wing Media Hype Rose's New Smear Campaign
Hot Air: “Want To See A Real War On Women?” In a May 29 Hot Air post, Ed Morrissey promoted the Live Action video, asking, “Want to see a real war on women?” From the post:
Want to see a real war on women? Not one defined by the opposition to the imposition of a Hubby State and subsidies, but one in which women of the future are systematically eliminated? Live Action went undercover last month at a number of abortion clinics across the nation to expose how the abortion industry assists and even encourages gender-selective abortion, a global trend that has eliminated tens of millions of girls before they ever draw breath outside the womb.
Welcome to the real war on women. This one has real casualties, too. But even if one supports abortion rights for whatever purpose, should taxpayer dollars flow to organizations that offer advice on how to defraud Medicaid? [Hot Air, 5/29/12]
Daily Caller: “Live Action Says Planned Parenthood ... [Is] Willing To Assist In The Termination Of Baby Girls.” In a May 29 post, The Daily Caller promoted Live Action's video. From the post:
Live Action says Planned Parenthood and other U.S. abortion providers are willing to assist in the termination of baby girls for pregnant women who choose abortion because they want to have baby boys. And the pro-life abortion watchdog says its video series and a new website will expose it all.
The first in what Live Action says is a series of videotaped incidents exposing American abortion facilities' willingness to assist in sex-selection abortions took place at a South Austin, Texas Planned Parenthood clinic. In the footage, a Planned Parenthood counselor appears to readily assist and advise a Live Action actor who said she was trying to obtain an abortion if her baby is female. [The Daily Caller, 5/29/12]
Human Events: “Live Action Exposes 'Gendercide' At Planned Parenthood Clinic.” A May 29 Human Events post promoting Live Action's video claimed that “Planned Parenthood is apparently comfortable with gendercide”:
The undercover filmmakers at Live Action are back, with a new round of videos shot at Planned Parenthood clinics across America. This time, the subject is “gendercide” - abortions performed for no other reason than the parents' desire to have a boy instead of a girl.
Planned Parenthood is apparently comfortable with gendercide...[Human Events, 5/29/12]
Weasel Zippers: “Planned Parenthood Encourages Woman To Abort Baby Because It's Female.” A May 29 Weasel Zippers post titled, “Planned Parenthood Encourages Woman To Abort Baby Because It's Female,” promoted Live Action's video, claiming that "[t]he Dems may want to keep this in mind the next time they accuse Republicans of waging a 'war on women.'" [Weasel Zippers, 5/29/12]
The Blaze: "'Gendercide': Anti-Abortion Group Releases Undercover Expose Purportedly Showing Planned Parenthood's Complicity in 'Sex-Selection Abortion.'" The Blaze hyped the video in a May 29 post titled, "'Gendercide': Anti-Abortion Group Releases Undercover Expose Purportedly Showing Planned Parenthood's Complicity in 'Sex-Selection Abortion.'" The Blaze described a clip of the video embedded in the post as “disturbing.” [The Blaze, 5/29/12]