Photo: Wikimedia Commons
After a number of clinics across the country reported suspicious incidents, Planned Parenthood is worried that it is the target of a sting led by anti-abortion activists, according to the Huffington Post.Planned Parenthood spokesperson Chloe Cooney told the Huffington Post that it has seen at least a two dozen “hoax visits” where women have asked questions about sex-selective abortions. Specifically, they have asked how soon they can find out about the gender of the foetus and whether they can have an abortion if it is a girl.
Sex-selective abortions are controversial in the United States, and while Planned Parenthood condemns the practice, it doesn’t discriminate patients based on their reason for seeking an abortion. The organisation says it is “committed to providing high-quality, confidential, nonjudgmental care to all who come into our health centres.”
While the practice is more prevalent in Asian countries, it is unclear how common they are in the United States. Though Miriam Yeung, executive director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, told the Huffington Post that they do happen in the U.S.
“The short answer is yes, it does happen here, but not to the same extent as in other countries,” she said.
The issues of sex-selective abortions has been taken up by anti-abortion groups more and more in recent years. In a recent opinion piece for the National Right to Life News, NRL president Carol Tobias wrote: “In 2010, more than 9 out of 10 PPFA’s services going specifically to pregnant women were abortion. Roughly half of those abortions are performed on unborn girls. That’s the real war on women.”
While it is still unclear who could be behind this suspected sting, Planned Parenthood suspects the most likely group is Live Action, an anti-abortion organisation that has conducted similar efforts in the past. In 2011, Live Action paid actors to pretend to be pimps and prostitutes involved in human trafficking to visit Planned Parenthood seeking birth control and abortions. The Huffington Post later revealed that the videos Live Action released were heavily doctored.
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