The anti-abortion activist group Live Action released two videos this week of Planned Parenthood staffers discussing sex-selective abortions with actors posing as patients, but a side-by-side analysis of one of the edited videos and the original, unedited version of it shows that parts of the conversation were strategically omitted in order to implicate the family planning provider.
The video Live Action released on Thursday, which takes place at a Planned Parenthood clinic in New York City, shows a licensed social worker counseling a supposed patient who says she will abort her fetus if it turns out to be a girl. In the portions of the conversation shown in the video, the counselor discusses the types of tests available to detect the sex of the fetus, tells her "it's not up to us to decide what is a good or a bad reason for somebody to decide to terminate a pregnancy," and complies with the woman's request to schedule an abortion at the end of the appointment.
"Planned Parenthood has built their abortion empire on their belief that any abortion is a good abortion, even if it is motivated by the very discrimination against women that they claim to abhor," Live Action president Lila Rose said of the video.
"Planned Parenthood’s abortion-first mentality leads them to defend targeting baby girls for extermination," she added.
The Republican sponsors of a House bill that would have banned sex-selective abortions included Rose in the press conference they held about the bill on Thursday and brought up the videos multiple times as evidence that Planned Parenthood is complicit in American "gendercide."
But in the unedited video footage of the appointment, the counselor can also be seen recommending that the woman purchase insurance that covers prenatal care in case she chooses to continue the pregnancy, asks her if she has "definitely decided" that she wants to terminate and suggests adoption as an option.
"Because we're required to discuss all of a patient's options, is adoption something that you were interested in considering?" she asks the woman.
Leslie Kantor, vice president of education for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said the video was "selectively and heavily edited in order to distort what actually happened."
"Edited videos of hoax patient visits are part of a coordinated campaign over the last several years to distort Planned Parenthood’s services, mission and values," Kantor said in a statement on Wednesday.
Although Planned Parenthood condemns sex-selective abortions, Kantor said the unedited video "demonstrates nonjudgmental, informative services that are in accordance with social work standards for patient interaction."
Live Action did not respond to requests for comment.
This is not the first time the group has been accused of heavily editing its videos. In February 2011, Live Action sent actors pretending to be a pimp and a prostitute into Planned Parenthood clinics looking for birth control, STD testing and abortions. While the videos led Planned Parenthood to dismiss at least two employees, The Huffington Post reported that "thorough, frame-by-frame reviews of the full-length videos show that what is posted on YouTube often bears little relation to what happened in reality, due to heavy editing that alters the meaning of conversations."
Live Action has since made the full, unedited videos available for download.
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