An anti-abortion group is attacking Planned Parenthood again. This time, they have gone undercover and released a video showing a Planned Parenthood employee supporting a pregnant woman who wanted a late term, sex-selective abortion if the fetus was a girl. It’s a controversial investigation that raises a lot of ethical questions, including a woman’s true right to choose and the role that Planned Parenthood should play in situations like this.
The anti-abortion group, Live Action, had pregnant actors visit Planned Parenthood clinics across the country posing as patients inquiring about a sex-selective abortion. The first video was released yesterday and showed a Planned Parenthood employee from Austin, Texas answering questions about how this woman could obtain an abortion if she found out that the fetus was a girl.
The employee explains that she can do this with a late-term abortion:
The abortion covers you up until 23 weeks, and usually at 5 months is usually when they detect, you know, whether or not it’s a boy or a girl.
She then goes on to tell her how to work the Medicaid system and obtain an ultrasound before making it clear that Planned Parenthood would perform an abortion despite her reasons for wanting to have one.
At the end,the employee simply says:
Good luck, and I hope you do get your boy.
Live Action is calling these videos “Gendercide: Sex-Selection in America” and claims that this is the ultimate war on women–something they say Planned Parenthood supports.
A Planned Parenthood spokeswoman told The Huffington Post that the employee in the video did not follow their protocol:
Planned Parenthood insists on the highest quality patient care, and if we ever become aware of a staff member not meeting these high standards we take swift action. Within three days of this patient interaction, the staff member’s employment was ended and all staff members at this affiliate were immediately scheduled for retraining in managing unusual patient encounters. Today opponents of Planned Parenthood are promoting an edited video of that hoax patient encounter.
The spokesperson went on to say that they don’t support abortions on the basis of gender. Instead, they aim to provide “high quality, confidential, nonjudgmental care to all who come into” their clinics.
It’s a controversial dilemma, for sure. On the one hand, if abortions are legal, then the reason for them shouldn’t matter. Women can choose a selective reduction if they have more than one fetus; they can choose an abortion if they can’t afford a baby or simply don’t want one. So how is choosing a boy or a girl any different?
On the other hand, choosing to abort simply because the baby is a girl just seems wrong. It assumes girls are not as valuable or worthy in the world as boys, and it allows women to essentially choose too much. Like, would it be wrong to abort if the fetus didn’t have the “right” color skin or eyes? Of course not.
Either way, it’s unfair to attack Planned Parenthood because of this. This could have been an isolated incident, so we can’t really generalize that all clinics are like this. Also, there are a number of other abortion providers out there. This video just opens up the discussion, which is good, but unfairly attacks one organization in particular.
Watch the video and then tell us what you think.