NEW YORK (Reuters) - An anti-abortion group that opposes Planned Parenthood released on Tuesday an undercover video it claims shows the organization covering up sexual abuse and sex trafficking.
The footage, recorded January 13 at a central New Jersey clinic, shows a clinic manager discussing abortion, testing for sexually transmitted diseases and contraception with individuals posing as a pimp and prostitute, and coaching them to lie about their age and other information, according to the group, Live Action.
The video “proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Planned Parenthood intentionally breaks state and federal laws and covers up the abuse of the young girls it claims to serve,” said Lila Rose, president of Live Action, in a statement.
Planned Parenthood said what appears in the footage is in violation of its practices and policies and is under review.
Planned Parenthood said it already notified authorities in New Jersey after the visit and said similar unusual visits occurred in at least 11 centers in six states within one week.
The group that made the secret video is on record as wanting “to ‘take down’ Planned Parenthood ... by creating ‘controversy’ in the organization,” Stuart Schear, a Planned Parenthood spokesman, said on Tuesday.
Earlier in January, Planned Parenthood said it alerted U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to a string of health-center visitors in a number of states that indicated involvement of sex trafficking of minors.
Planned Parenthood said the visits could be a hoax or a serious violation and said the FBI is reviewing evidence and photos.
Live Action is asking for federal and state investigations into Planned Parenthood’s “sexual abuse and sex trafficking cover up,” according to a statement accompanying the video’s release.
Reporting by Lauren Keiper; Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Jerry Norton