A California-based anti-abortion group that has been waging a campaign against abortion provider Planned Parenthood released a videotape Tuesday that the group says shows an employee at a New York City clinic giving advice to a man posing as a pimp and seeking health services for underage sex workers.
Planned Parenthood of New York City said the videotape does not accurately portray the agency's practices and that the incident was reported to law enforcement.
Live Action claims the video demonstrates that a clinic employee was willing to help someone who was sexually exploiting minors by doling out advice on testing for sexually transmitted diseases and abortions.
"This footage shows that underage girls and young women are at potentially grave risk when they walk into Planned Parenthood clinics," Lila Rose, president of Live Action, said in a statement.
Planned Parenthood disputes that.
"Had the teens in question come into our center, they would have met with a licensed social worker," the New York affiliate said in a statement. "All teens coming into Planned Parenthood of New York City are screened for child abuse and neglect."
A spokesman for Planned Parenthood Federation of America Inc., which has offices in New York City and Washington, D.C., said Tuesday that the videos were "clearly doctored and cannot be trusted."
"The two health center workers featured in the video said that they did not hear the words 'sex work' or 'sex worker,' uttered by the actors on camera," the spokesman, Stuart Schear, said in a statement. "It is clear from the edited tape that there are two or more video sources, as well as an additional audio source, increasing the opportunity for manipulation and selective editing."
Live Action's president called Planned Parenthoods' version of events "the most absurd yet."
"We have made full, unedited footage available from each clinic we've highlighted, and it is clear that Planned Parenthood staff are more than willing to aid and abet a self-identified sex trafficker with the exploitation of underage girls," Rose said.
Planned Parenthood said last week that at least 12 of its clinics across the country have been visited by men claiming to be sex traffickers. The organization, which is the leading U.S. provider of abortions, has asked federal authorities to investigate and said it has identified a man involved in the visits as linked to Live Action.
Planned Parenthood said Monday it will retrain employees who deal with patients on how to report potential risks to minors. Live Action's president called the announcement "nothing more than window dressing to try and patch over a major crisis engulfing all levels of Planned Parenthood."
Last week, Live Action released videotapes showing footage of staff at Planned Parenthood clinics in New Jersey and Virginia engaged in similar encounters with individuals claiming to be sex traffickers.
The New Jersey attorney general's office said it was looking into the claims. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said he found a clip from a video of a Richmond clinic to be "very disturbing."
Danny Kanner, a spokesman for New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, said the office had received the video and will review it.
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