“This investigation amounts to no more than a witch hunt…”
Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) regarding the investigation of Planned Parenthood
“If they’re 14 and under [circles clinic paper] just send them right there if they need an abortion, ok?”
Planned Parenthood Clinic Director Amy Woodruff, offering to arrange abortions for underage prostitutes
Sex trafficking is a global problem. From Asia to Eastern Europe, vulnerable women and children are tricked, coerced, or sold into a life of slavery. While it is often associated with places overseas, this practice is found within America’s borders as well. Now, evidence has come to light that Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion provider, is enabling it.
In early 2011, members of Live Action visited Planned Parenthood facilities in several states. Posing as pimps and prostitutes, they used hidden cameras to document their encounters with Planned Parenthood staff. The footage is damning.
At a center in New Jersey, two Live Action members discussed how it would be helpful to sedate their foreign, underage prostitutes during abortions because the girls “don’t speak English” and are “not gonna know what’s going on.” Clinic manager Amy Woodruff was fully on board with this approach, responding, “Exactly.” Woodruff went on to explain how abortions could be arranged without ID and offered tips on concealing information. Visits to six other Planned Parenthood locations yielded similar results.
At facilities in New Jersey, New York, Virginia, and the District of Columbia, Planned Parenthood staff had no qualms about assisting individuals who explicitly identified themselves as sex traffickers and made clear that their victims were underage. A supervisor in New York City said that fourteen year-old prostitutes could “just show up” if they needed an abortion. In none of the videos do the staff express shock or outrage that sex traffickers were coming to them for assistance. Instead, workers behaved as if such visits were routine.
This is unsurprising to those who know how Planned Parenthood has treated young victims in the past. In June of 2006, 40 year-old Adam Gault abducted teenager Danielle Cramer and held her captive for over a year. After he impregnated her, Gault brought Cramer to a Planned Parenthood abortion facility in West Hartford, Conneticut. Planned Parenthood performed the abortion and then turned her back over to Gault. In 2002, Planned Parenthood referred a thirteen-year-old California girl for an abortion after she had been raped by her step-father, not bothering to report the crime. In 1999 an 11 year-old California girl was given an abortion after she was raped by her 17 year-old boyfriend–with Planned Parenthood again doing nothing to report what happened. Two similar cases are known to have in occurred in Ohio as well. When it comes to sexual abuse, Planned Parenthood’s attitude can be found in the words of Amy Woodruff: “We want as little information as possible.”
The US government tends to frown on sex trafficking. Under federal law, those convicted of it can face a life sentence. After it emerged that agents of Planned Parenthood, a tax-funded entity, were willing to help sex traffickers, Congressman Cliff Stearns (R-FL) decided that an investigation was in order. As Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations for the House Energy and Commerce Committee, he requested that Planned Parenthood turn over information concerning how it handles cases of trafficking and sexual abuse.
Most Americans would agree that when employees of a federally sponsored organization are heard offering to help victimize children, questions need to be answered. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) doesn’t see it that way. On October eleventh, he and ten other Senate Democrats released a statement labeling the investigation of Planned Parenthood as “reprehensible“ and “a witch hunt.” Citing the needs of women who “rely on Planned Parenthood more than ever,” the senator asked that Rep. Stearns curtail his efforts.
Although Halloween is fast approaching, it’s unlikely that any witches will turn up during the investigation. But given what has been uncovered so far, more evidence that Planned Parenthood aids sex traffickers probably will. If Senator Blumenthal and his cohorts are truly concerned about protecting women, then they should welcome this inquiry. Sex trafficking is a brutal enterprise that brings pain and misery to countless women and children. If tax dollars are supporting it, then Congress needs to bring that support to an end.