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Anti-abortion group's video shows gender-selection counseling

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 12:09 AM EDT, Wed May 30, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Video shows Planned Parenthood staffer apparently counseling a woman on gender-selective abortion
  • "Just continue and try again" if the fetus turns out to be female, the counselor says
  • Planned Parenthood says the counselor is no longer working for the organization
  • She "did not follow our protocol," says the group's vice president for education

(CNN) -- The anti-abortion group Live Action released Tuesday its latest undercover video aimed at discrediting Planned Parenthood. The edited video shows a Planned Parenthood staff member apparently counseling a woman about gender-selective abortion.

"I see that you're saying that you want to terminate if it's a girl, so are you just wanting to continue the pregnancy in the meantime?" says a counselor, identified only as Rebecca, in a Planned Parenthood clinic in Austin, Texas.

The woman, purported to be in the first trimester of her pregnancy, according to Live Action, says she does not know the gender of her fetus but wants to abort if it turns out to be female.

"The abortion covers you up until 23 weeks," says Rebecca, "and usually at five months is usually (sic) when they detect, you know, whether or not it's a boy or a girl."

The staffer recommends to the woman that she "just continue and try again" if her fetus turns out to be female.

"Good luck, and I hope that you do get your boy," Rebecca says.

In a statement, Planned Parenthood's vice president of education, Leslie Kantor, said the staffer was in an entry-level job and is no longer working for the organization. She "did not follow our protocol for providing information and guidance when presented with a highly unusual patient scenario," the statement says.

The incident occurred six weeks ago and swift action was taken, Kantor adds. "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."

The statement continues, "Gender bias is contrary to everything our organization works for daily in communities across the country. Planned Parenthood opposes racism and sexism in all forms, and we work to advance equity and human rights in the delivery of health care. Planned Parenthood condemns sex selection motivated by gender bias, and urges leaders to challenge the underlying conditions that lead to these beliefs and practices, including addressing the social, legal, economic, and political conditions that promote gender bias and lead some to value one gender over the other."

Last year, after the anti-abortion group released another undercover video that Live Action said showed staff willing to assist sex trafficking and exploitation of minors and young women, Planned Parenthood announced it would retrain more than 11,000 staff members at more than 800 centers across the United States.

The secretly recorded video used a couple portraying themselves as a pimp and a prostitute who were seeking abortions for underage girls.

Planned Parenthood said then that employees would be fired in cases of confirmed failure to comply with the group's procedures for situations involving endangered minors and with states' mandatory reporting laws for underage girls.

After Live Action released undercover videos of four Planned Parenthood health centers in Virginia and one in New Jersey, Planned Parenthood officials fired a staff worker in the New Jersey office, but defended the others, saying they behaved professionally and appropriately reported the incidents to the U.S. Justice Department.

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