Planned Parenthood After Saying Staff ‘Acted Professionally’, Now Takes Corrective Action

Last month, Live Action released footage of a Planned Parenthood employee in Roanoke, Virginia advising a potential STD carrier to donate blood as a way of receiving cheap testing for STDs. Common sense would dictate that this is not wise medical advice. But there are professional reasons why it is inappropriate counsel as well.

Ruth D. Sylvester, Director of Regulatory Services for America’s Blood, told me via e-mail,Donate Blood

“Donating blood is not an appropriate mechanism to obtain screening for sexually transmitted diseases or any other test result. Though donated blood is screened, and is safer than it has ever been, the hallmark of the system is the honesty of the donor in completing the donor history questionnaire. Additionally, in the eyes of the Food and Drug Administration, these donors would not be considered “volunteer” because they are donating for the purposes of obtaining something in return, hence, they would have a reason to be less than truthful.”

What was Planned Parenthood’s response to the video that showed one of their employees promoting this inappropriate and dishonest mechanism?

“Earlier today, secretly taped videos were released by Live Action, an organization whose mission is to close our health centers and whose efforts are being used to make false claims about our services. This organization used a fake patient claiming to be engaged in the sex trade and managing under-aged girls in an effort to coax our staff into making damaging comments. The hoax was perpetrated at our Roanoke and Charlottesville health centers on January 11, 2011

The employees on these edited tapes in Roanoke and Charlottesville acted professionally…”

Not a word was said about the questionable medical advice.

Planned Parenthood’s rhetoric about coaxing, hoaxing and fake patients infers that they think this is a game of cat-and-mouse rather than a serious wake-up call. Their preoccupation with dismissing Live Action as an extreme gadfly that can be outwitted might have been what resulted in them failing to address an important issue.

The Roanoke employee’s blood donation advice was not a mere hypothetical scenario involving a “fake patient”. The employee actually said – unreservedly on her own initiative – that she has been “tell[ing] a lot of people” who might have sexually transmitted diseases to do the same thing.

After filing a complaint about Planned Parenthood in Roanoke with the Roanoke City Health Department, the latter told me on March 8th that “[Planned Parenthood] certainly appreciated being notified of that…and they said they had already been made aware of that and have instructed the staff member, and a corrective plan is in place with training. So they seem to be pretty on top of that issue.”

Live Action is looking forward to hearing the details of Planned Parenthood’s “corrective plan.” Planned Parenthood has not yet returned a follow-up call placed last week.

  • ok_go

    i think what you guys are doing is great but i'm not sure about this blood donation anecdote. wasn't the guy asking about other options in the first place because planned parenthood couldn't afford to give the guy an std test at an affordable rate? please tell me if i got the story wrong… but i think i remember hearing that's what happened. i mean obviously they gave him the wrong advice and that's awful and they admitted it to you guys in the response you quoted.

    but the thing is like, our whole thing here is to de-fund planned parenthood because of many various reasons including that it has more than enough money to operate based on the profits from its abortions and donations.

    but this whole story kind of implies that planned parenthood does provide services people need (like std tests) and that it is important to fund them enough to provide those services (otherwise people will do stupid things like try donating blood to get std tests). isn't that bad for our cause here? like if we are showing that as it is planned parenthood can't provide the level of affordable service the public needs based on the profits from its abortions, why are we trying to cut federal funding to it? i feel like there is a logic fail here and i am worried the anti-life side will try to benefit from it.

    • LiveAction_Blog

      "wasn't the guy asking about other options in the first place because planned parenthood couldn't afford to give the guy an std test at an affordable rate?"
      Yea. PP said their rates were like $150 for testing. The staffer said they they give this advice to a lot of people as well.

      "including that it has more than enough money to operate based on the profits from its abortions and donations"
      Not sure this is the case. In the short run yes but not necessarily in the long run.

      "but this whole story kind of implies that planned parenthood does provide services people need "
      They do. That is not in dispute. The question is are the best provider to give those services.

      "like if we are showing that as it is planned parenthood can't provide the level of affordable service the public needs based on the profits from its abortions, why are we trying to cut federal funding to it?"
      Any organization that fails to follow child sexual abuse reporting laws should not get taxpayer money. Whether PP can provide their other services on abortion money or not is not the point. The PP funds should go to other, better providers of needed health care.

  • Metalvegetaxxx

    OK whats the big deal The blood still goes to use even if it has an std like for research use so its a win win for everyone

    • http://twitter.com/DavidSchmidt David Schmidt

      Well Planned Parenthood disagrees as they are taking corrective action with their staffer.

    • Topper

      The big deal is that (a) the blood isn’t used for research; (b) the blood cannot be used and is discarded; (c) this was a waste for time and resources; and (d) it;s a “win” only for the dishonest person does this. Perhaps someone like yourself.

  • VIOLATED

    Planned Parenthoods need to close down. Not one, but two staffers of a local Planned Parenthood illegally disclosed my medical information to their friends and family (who are mutual acquaintances of mine) . They have been making snide remarks and spreading gossip about me ever since. I have never felt so violated in my entire life. The lack of professionalism and violation of my patient rights by this orginization is astonishing. Don’t walk, RUN from Planned Parenthood.

    • Topper

      If the statute of limitations hasn’t run out and If you have adequate evidence, you could sue the staffers. That would shut them up & teach them discretion. Speak to a paralegal/attorney.