Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Planned Parenthood Sting

Graber (p. 153) discusses the ethics of "sting" operations. One broadcast news code of ethics frowns on them, but does not absolutely rule them out. A recent story involves not only the issue of sting operations but also the use of video from third parties.

CBS reports:
Planned Parenthood has long been criticized by abortion rights opponents. The organization has 800 clinics across the United States. Recently a handful of them were targeted by a video sting.

CBS News chief legal correspondent reports the FBI is investigating. The videos are troubling with actors portraying a pimp and a prostitute seeking abortions for young sex workers. The target: Planned Parenthood, the nation's leading provider of reproductive services, counseling, contraception and abortion.

Pimp in video: "We're involved in sex work."

Planned Parenthood Supervisor: "Mm hmm."

Pimp: "We have some girls that are kind of young like, 14, 15, that they might need an abortion."

Planned Parenthood Supervisor: "Mm hmm."

Pimp: "And, how is the best way should they could go about it?"

Planned Parenthood Supervisor: "They just show up."

In the past week anti-abortion group Live Action has released undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood staffers all too eager to help purported teenage sex workers get abortions and contraception.

Planned Parenthood Supervisor: "Here's the thing. If they're minors, just tell them to put down that they're students."

Pimp: "Students."

Planned Parenthood Supervisor: "Yeah, just kind of play along that they're students. We want to make it look as legit as possible."
Video here (not embeddable)

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