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On the ropes

Abortion Present | Undercover videos shot in Indiana Planned Parenthood clinics trigger firings, possible state probe

Issue: "Millions cut down," Jan. 17, 2009

When former crime reporter Jackie Walorski saw a pair of undercover videos shot in Indiana Planned Parenthood clinics, four reasons for outrage fell like dominoes in her mind:

The videos, shot by Live Action Films, an investigative student pro-life group, appear to show Planned Parenthood employees brushing off a girl's allegations of child rape.

Two employees appear to coach "Brianna," who said she was 13 and pregnant by a 31-year-old man-a situation that could only result from sexual contact that is a felony in Indiana-on how to keep the rapes secret.

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The same two employees provided Brianna with a printout they had at the ready, showing out-of-state clinics where the girl could bypass Indiana's parental notification law and get an abortion.

Though the video shows Brianna repeatedly calling clinic employees' attention to the shocking age gap between her and her abuser, the employees repeatedly dodged the topic-or coached the girl to lie.

"I didn't hear the age. I don't want to know the age," said a nurse at a Bloomington, Ind., clinic. Then she told the girl how to lie about him: "You've seen him around, you know he's 14, he's in your grade, whatever."

An aide at Planned Parenthood's Indianapolis clinic said, "I don't care how old he is."

When she was a crime reporter, Jackie Walorski wrote about victims' rights. Now she is an Indiana state lawmaker and has the power to do even more. In a one-two media punch, Live Action Films, the pro-life student group that shot the videos, released them nationally over two weeks in December-first the Bloomington video, then the Indianapolis tape.

"When I saw the Bloomington video, I thought you could possibly argue that this was an isolated incident," Walorski said. "When I saw the second video, you now had three different Planned Parenthood employees in two different cities breaking laws designed to protect minors. I thought, 'Either there's a training problem here, or somebody didn't get the memo that state law comes first.'"

That set Walorski to rattling cages. On Dec. 15, she "spoke at length," she said, with Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter, who told Walorski he is "taking the matter under advisement." Carter's office would not confirm or deny that the attorney general is officially investigating Planned Parenthood of Indiana (PPIN), which operates 35 clinics in the state including three that perform abortions. But state news outlets have quoted Carter as saying that he is.

Meanwhile, heads have already rolled. PPIN fired two of the employees featured in the videos. Live Action Films president Lila Rose feels that's the least they should do. "Planned Parenthood is violating the law and endangering young girls," said Rose, 20, a UCLA history major and pro-life activist.

An attractive brunette, she dyed her hair blond and spoke in the soft, halting tones of a young girl in trouble when she visited Planned Parenthood clinics in Indiana and other states as "Brianna." Rose would not disclose the exact number of clinics she visited, but allowed that it was "many."

The visits, each one videotaped, are part of a project called "The Mona Lisa Project: Undercover in America's Abortion Centers." Live Action Films gained national attention last year after releasing undercover tapes from two Los Angeles Planned Parenthood clinics. Rose said future installments in the Mona Lisa project, to be released over the next few months, show Planned Parenthood employees "repeatedly giving medical misinformation and engaging in manipulative counseling in order to have the girl choose abortion."

Meanwhile, Jackie Walorski isn't backing down. She is in talks with the Marion County district attorney's office over whether Live Action's tapes show evidence that PPIN, in failing to comply with child welfare laws, has committed Medicaid fraud.

"We've got to be concerned about protecting minors, the vulnerable people in this state," Walorski said. "If there has been a crime committed, I want somebody to pay the penalty."

Lynn Vincent
Lynn Vincent

Lynn is a senior writer for WORLD Magazine and the best-selling author of 10 non-fiction books.


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