The brain trust behind the ACORN “sting” has turned its attention to Planned Parenthood–very, very clumsily. Lila Rose, president of anti-abortion organization Live Action and associate of ACORN foe James O’Keefe (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-hart/pimps-and-prostitutesagai_b_817639.html), posed as an underage prostitute accompanying her pimp in attempt to expose something. I’m still not sure what this dastardly something is, even after watching the video available here: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0211/48632.html. The video doesn’t provide viewers with any new information. We are shown a Planned Parenthood employee providing advice about contraception and STD protection. It’s Planned Parenthood, so that’s expected. If the intention was to somehow prove that Planned Parenthood either explicitly supports underage prostitution or ignores it in favor of a pro-choice agenda, Rose and her colleagues failed. Live Action’s activists visited several New Jersey clinics. These clinics, including the one seen in the video, contacted the local authorities as well as the FBI about the self-proclaimed pimps, though clinic employees correctly suspected a hoax (http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/02/sex_ring_was_a_hoax_live_action_posts_video_target.php?ref=tn).
So there is no underage sex ring, as Live Action theatrically claims on its blog. If there is a conspiracy revealed by the video, it is being perpetrated by the enemies of reproductive choice for American women. The release of Live Action’s tape coincides with the GOP House’s push to redefine rape in an attempt to limit federal funding for abortions. According to the text of HR#3, only cases of “forcible rape” qualify an individual for funds. Child molestation just isn’t quite enough any more. Sady Doyle of Tiger Beatdown offers an excellent summary of the bill here, in addition to a rundown on the campaign against it: http://tigerbeatdown.com/2011/01/29/dearjohn-for-when-boehner-decides-your-rape-just-wasnt-enough/ and the full text of HR#3 is available online.
I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that the tape coincides with the GOP’s assault on reproductive choice. I believe it represents an orchestrated effort to deprive American women of abortion rights. As clumsy as Live Action’s attempt at an investigation is, it distracts from the debate over HR#3. Please reject this. By all means, express your rage over underage prostitution. But express it by donating to organizations like International Justice Mission (www.ijm.org). Don’t support Live Action’s decision to turn underage prostitutes into political pawns. Express it by supporting Planned Parenthood’s efforts to provide contraception and STD protection at affordable rates. Add your voice to those activists raising awareness of the GOP’s attempts to redefine rape by contacting your representative either by letter or over Twitter as part of the #DearJohn campaign. Organize. Speak up. Don’t allow the right to make your health decisions for you.