(UPDATE) “Sex Traffickers” Target Planned Parenthood in Possible Live Action Films Hoax

See all our articles on this issue at this link.

UPDATE2: As of 12:14 pm, January 25th, 2011, Jill Stanek has stated on her website that Lila Rose did indeed send pseudo “sex traffickers” into PPFA clinics, “They’ve been stung again by Lila Rose….”) and also warns of “explosive evidence,” of which they of course present…..none. They appear to have no credible response to exposure of their efforts to perpetrate a hoax on Planned Parenthood.

According to the Child Obscenity and Exploitation section of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), sexual exploitation and trafficking of youth in the United States are problems of “epidemic proportions.” The majority of young American victims of commercial sexual exploitation, according to one DOJ report, tend to be “runaway or thrown away” youth who live on the streets and who become victims of prostitution. These children “generally come from homes where they have been abused, or from families that have abandoned them. They often become involved in prostitution as a way to support themselves financially or to get the things they want or need.”

About one-fifth of these children, according to DOJ:

[B]ecome entangled in nationally- organized crime networks and are trafficked nationally. They are transported around the United States by a variety of means – cars, buses, vans, trucks or planes, and are often provided counterfeit identification to use in the event of arrest. The average age at which girls first become victims of prostitution is 12-14.  It is not only the girls on the streets that are affected — for boys and transgender the average age of entry into prostitution is 11-13.

Of course, the “prolife” movement–so very worried about women, girls, fetuses, black babies, the “pain” inflicted on women by abortion, etc, etc, etc–is deeply concerned about these children, right?


In what is perhaps one of the most craven actions of a deeply craven movement, anti-choice scam artists apparently affiliated with Live Action Films and Lila Rose of undercover “gotcha film-fame” appear to have attempted an “ACORN-like” hoax on Planned Parenthood Federation of America by sending people into Planned Parenthood health centers in six states posing as sex traffickers seeking health care for young girls who were “part” of their supposed sex trafficking rings. 

In response, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder describing the visits and asking for an investigation.

In a statement, PPFA said:

Last week, Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) alerted federal authorities to a potential multistate sex trafficking ring.  Over a five day period, visitors to Planned Parenthood health centers in six states said they were seeking information from Planned Parenthood about health services Planned Parenthood could provide to underage girls who were part of a sex trafficking ring.  Subsequent to alerting U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Planned Parenthood learned the identify of one of those involved and believes these visits are likely a hoax by opponents of legal abortion seeking to discredit Planned Parenthood, which delivers preventive health care and abortion services to three million women each year.

PPFA reports that men, sometimes accompanied by a woman, “visited at least 11 Planned Parenthood health centers in six states within a one-week time frame.”  The visits were made between January 11th and January 15th to health centers in Virginia, Indiana, New York, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., and Arizona. “Among them was a clinic in Tucson, Ariz., which Planned Parenthood said was visited on the 15th, a week after [emphasis added] the shooting rampage in that city that critically injured Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

During their visits, they claimed to be involved in sex trafficking of teens, some of whom are in the United States illegally.  These men appeared at health centers without appointments and said that they were seeking health services for themselves, but they quickly turned the conversation to the sex ring they said they were managing.   

David Crary of the The Associated Press writes that in each case, according to Planned Parenthood, “the man sought to speak privately with a clinic employee and then [once alone with the employee] requested information about health services for sex workers, including some who he said were minors and in the U.S. illegally.”

One of the men involved in these visits has now been identified using video tapes at the clinics, and he appears to be “associated with or influenced by Live Action.” 

The pattern of these visits and the highly unusual nature of the information being shared with staff lends credibility to the possibility that these multistate visits are part of this organization’s ongoing effort to ”bring down” Planned Parenthood, a nearly 100-year-old organization with more than 800 health centers from coast to coast.  Live Action is associated with James O’Keefe, the conservative activist who was arrested for attempting to wiretap the offices of Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana.

AP reports that Rose, Live Action’s founder and president, declined to confirm or deny that the clinic visits were part of a Live Action operation, but did indicate in a telephone interview with AP that an undercover videotape project of some sort was in the works.  In December, Crary writes, Live Action announced that it was preparing to launch several major new investigations during 2011 and said it had received a $125,000 gift to finance the operations. It did not identify the source of that gift.

Stuart Schear, Vice President of Communications at Planned Parenthood, said:

“When Planned Parenthood learns of an operation that exploits young women, we vigilantly work with law enforcement authorities to uncover and stop this abhorrent activity. Planned Parenthood’s top priority is the health and safety of our patients and the health and well-being of women and teens across the country, and we have been in contact with federal and local authorities to identify the persons involved in these visits.”

“If a multistate sex trafficking operation is in place,” he continued, “those responsible must be pursued to stop the exploitation of girls and young women. If these visits are part of a ‘dirty tricks’ campaign, they must be condemned.  Falsely claiming sex trafficking to health professionals to advance a political agenda is an astoundingly cynical form of political activity.”

Yes. Astoundingly cynical. Put aside for a moment the ridiculous proposition that suddenly, out of nowhere, sex traffickers suddenly engage in a simultaneous multi-state effort openly seeking health care for victims of their crimes, i.e. youth entrapped in a virtual cycle of slavery, abuse, and exploitation at the hands of the traffickers themselves. Put aside for the moment the absurdity and sheer juvenality of the entire premise.

And ask this: What purpose does such a hoax serve? Does it help to clarify for policymakers, the media, and potentially engaged constituencies the problems of sex trafficking within the United States? Assist in identifying victims of sex trafficking and provide them with assistance? Focus on reducing the violence to which street children are exposed? Examine the policies and conditions that might exacerbate sex trafficking of minors? Help get victims of sex trafficking shelter, legal help….urgently needed medical care?  Victims of sex trafficking, after all, also need sexual health services because they are effectively being raped regularly and are more likely to contract sexually transmitted infections and experience unintended pregnancies. Does this help them get treatment?

Is there anything about this that focuses on the real needs and rights of actual human beings?


It’s not about the victims of actual crimes. It’s not about helping young girls and boys caught in a cycle of abandonment, abuse, violence and poverty.  It’s not about “life.”

What is it about?

The goal, according to Rose, is to “unnerve Planned Parenthood employees and eventually put them out of business.”

“We will work to de-fund them in every state wherever it is possible, to de-license them and to expose them,” she told the conservative Value Voters Summit in October.

“The other part of it, too, is to create controversy within the organization, keep them on their toes,” she said. “We need to help them feel that fear.”

Really?  This is a goal?  Of a featured leader of a movement that claims moral authority over women and their health?

It is just one more symbol of the craven agenda of ideology and lies supported by a full-time anti-choice industry and countless federal and state lawmakers who appear to have nothing better to do than to write one after another laws to restrict women’s fundamental human rights and go after providers who indeed do provide needed health care to real human beings on a daily basis.

Given the unmet need for health care generally in this country, and for unmet sexual and reproductive health care particularly, Rose surely could have picked a more noble goal.  Planned Parenthood operates more than 800 health centers across the country, and serves some 3 million clients a year with a range of voluntary health and family planning services. The centers provided women with 324,008 legal abortions in 2008, about one-fourth of the national total.

What is the point of a “sting” operation if the goal is just to get the “sting?” How does the work of such scam artists help anyone, much less the victims of child trafficking about which this purported sting operation was supposedly about?  It doesn’t.  But that’s not their “goal.”

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  • crowepps

    “We need to help them feel that fear.”

    Isn’t that the goal of all terrorists?

  • goatini

    Lila Rose, Live Action’s founder and president, described Planned Parenthood’s assertion as “very interesting.” She declined to confirm or deny that the clinic visits were part of a Live Action operation, but did indicate in a telephone interview that an undercover videotape project of some sort was in the works.

    “The story that speaks loudest will be in the evidence,” she said. “I can’t comment until we release the visual evidence.”

    Man, I hope the Fibbies take these frauds on, do everything right to get a good clean bust on them, and put them out of business.   I also hope her pal, convicted criminal O’Keefe, is part of this scam – judges don’t look too kindly on probationers when they get caught in the act doing the same crime again.  

  • ahunt

    Dunno what crime they could be charged with…any ideas?

  • ldan

    Isn’t there some variety of fine at least for the type of frivolous nonsense that uses up law enforcement time and resources (taxpayer dollars!!) this way?


    I recall that the fire department would charge our campus for idiots pulling the fire alarms for lulz. And didn’t the relevant authorities sue the ‘balloon boy’ family for their hoax?

  • crowepps



    Conspiracy to Defame?

    Not sure the fibbies will be willing to use the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (by force or threat of force or by physical obstruction, intentionally injures, intimidates or interferes with or attempts to injure, intimidate or interfere with any person because that person is or has been, or in order to intimidate such person or any other person or any class of persons from, obtaining or providing reproductive health services) even though the perp ADMITS she is trying to intimidate the clinic staff and having to waste their time with these buffoons does indeed “interfere with…persons…providing reproductive health services” by cutting into the time they could spend with actual patients.


    Personally, I think young men ought to be up in arms about this, since from now on their attempts to get a little privacy to discuss their concerns are going to be made more difficult by the reasonable suspicion of clinic staff members that young men who want to be ‘private’ to discuss something with them are probably putting on some weirdo scam or trying to get them fired.


    Does remind me a little bit of a guy that was barred from a local health care center through a restraining order because he lied to staff about his name and about how his girlfriend might be considering using their services when actually he already knew she went there and was attempting to get access to her records.


    There’s something about making false statements in order to deceive that is just particularly egregrious when it includes claims to be involved in the sexual abuse of children.  Since the cops have a CONFESSION on the record from these guys, and where there’s smoke there’s fire, I think a rigorous investigation is justified.  I’d start with psychological evaluations to see if they’re delusional.  Then have social services interview every child in their extended families about ‘bad touches’.

  • ahunt

    Could civil action be possible?

  • shewho

    I can’t say anything about this using language I’d post on the net.

  • crowepps

    I’m sure when these dudes started running their ‘script’ the clinic employees strung them along a little to try to get more information that they could give the cops.  Likely the “explosive evidence” will be that PP employees didn’t hear ‘underage’, instantly make a citizen’s arrest and slap on the cuffs.


    Certainly that’s what the last “shocking evidence of cooperation” turned out as, PP employees trying to get information and then promptly calling the cops.

  • ldan

    With this and Gosnell in Philly popping up at the same time, I can’t help wondering how much such ‘crying wolf’ obscures real reports of actual concerns. I really don’t want to absolve the authorities that should have shut Gosnell down long ago, but I’d be curious about the statistics of how many reports came in to the health department there, how many were investigated, and how many were substantiated?

  • crowepps

    I’d be curious about whether anybody at the health department has an unexplained source of extra income or a drug habit to feed myself.  If one of the employees was being bribed to toss complaints in the ’round file’ so there wouldn’t be any investigations, there aren’t going to BE any statistics.

  • goatini

    it’s RICO Suave time for Mack Daddy O’Keefe’s gal pal Lila.  

  • sayna

    Jill Stanek has flat-out said that lying to women to stop them from having abortions is a good thing:  http://www.jillstanek.com/archives/2009/03/prolife_occupat.html

    It never surprises me when she gets caught doing something dishonest or wrong.

  • genevieve-dusquesne

    Your concerns are valid.  According to the Grand Jury report, there were plenty of reports about the conditions at Gosnell’s clinic, from a variety of sources–patients, community workers, a former employee, and a woman from the city vaccination program. These went unaddressed or were simply given lip service: meaning, they called Gosnell to ask him if everything was okay, but never visited his clinic.  He hadn’t had an inspection since 1993.  Either no one cared or no one wished to take responsibility for caring. 

    And the “usual suspects” who would typically be making a fuss about a clinic like Gosnell’s weren’t saying anything: according to this Associated Press article, the anti-choice protesters of Philadelphia were too busy harrassing…hm, let’s see, patients and employees of the local Planned Parenthood clinic…to bother so much with an actual baby-killer (who was also, according to the Grand Jury, quite racist) like Gosnell. The woman in that article went from having an abortion to having what became a forced abortion, followed by a lifelong STI and four miscarriages

    So to put it quite plainly, you’re right to be worried. 

  • ldan

    Given the drug bust, that wouldn’t surprise me at all. But I don’t want to get too conspiracy theory yet. I’ve been part of a large bureaucracy long enough to know that simple apathy can explain a lot of things that don’t get done when they should.


    The bits about the health department saying they needed the complainants to come in themselves and that they wouldn’t take third part reports is part of what makes me wonder if they had a lot of false ‘complaints’ being logged against abortion clinics in general and instituted such a rule to cut down on that level of noise. That sounds completely in line with both a clumsy bureaucracy and with possible noise from higher up to cut back on harassing clinics.


    Now noise from higher up to specifically ignore complaints about Gosnell’s operation, or saying to lay off inspections shortly after getting a bunch of complaints about him would be more in line with the ‘someone on the take’ theory.

  • ahunt

    I’m not into conspiracy theories,  My own sense is that Pennsylvania, with its bizarre hodgepodge of anti-choice laws, simply ignored the SOB who preyed on low income WOC and immigrants, because it was cheaper to do so.

  • ahunt

    Damn double post.

  • purplemistydez

    Yeah I just read your link.  It’s incredible anti-choicers feel justified in lying.  Once the woman has the baby you know none of them will be around. 

  • invalid-0

    If the fear is that you will die for what you believe in, yes.  If that fear is that you will be exposed for who you are and what you do, then no.


    If PP has done nothing wrong, I’m not sure why they even give a sh** about Lila.

  • squirrely-girl

    If PP has done nothing wrong, I’m not sure why they even give a sh** about Lila.

    … they feel like they’re being harassed. Kinda like how individuals subject to street harassment give a sh**. If PP has done nothing wrong, they shouldn’t be subject to the harassment of an individual who is CLEARLY only interested in ruining them. To suggest that PP just “ignore” that just kinda comes across as victim blaming.  


    The phrase “if you haven’t done anything wrong, then you should mind…” is often used by those who enjoy overstepping the bounds of privacy. 


    Frankly, if I’ve done nothing wrong I expect to be left alone. 

  • crowepps

    Except, of course, that SHE is coming to THEM, wasting their time, making up lies, releasing heavily edited videotapes that misrepresent them, and makes it pretty clear that her motive is to terrorize them.  If Lila would find a different obsession, I’m sure PP would happily forget her.


    Must say, your statement sure echoes the justification ‘if his wife hadn’t done something wrong, why would he have beat her up?’  ProLife advocates claims of occupying the moral high ground are given the lie by the fact that their means include misrepresenation, outright lies,  fraud, blackmail, harassment, assault, arson, bombings and murder.

  • invalid-0

    Not sure if you’re new the the whole Lila Rose thing, but she has caught them doing things that are wrong.

    They’re not victims.  They’re a gigantic organization with several hundred centers across the country and affiliates around the world that receive hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding, and got stung by a 22 year old college girl with a video camera.

  • invalid-0

    You implication that a few college students with a web site and a video camera taking shots against a multi-billion dollar organization is somehow akin to a husband beating up his innocent wife made me laugh a little.


    Rather than try to avoid my point by making up ridiculous analogies, perhaps you could address it.

  • saltyc

    Because the victims here, arex, are the women being cruelly and brutally forced to have babies against their will every time another clinic closes its doors. These college students are being pushed by a well-funded terrorist campaign against women, the terrorist campaign that calls itself pro-life, the liars, bullies and thugs who want to step on the poorest and most vulnerable women. I talk to these women every week, arex, and I blame you and your ilk for their unnecessary desperation. Go away, you shameless bully and take your comrades with you, so that legitimate organizations like PP can deliver services in desperate need. The movement to assert state control over women’s bodies is in line with abusive husbands’ need to control their wives through beating. There’s no reason a woman shouldn’t have access to legal means of controlling her reproduction, and that’s what you and these thugs hate, that’s what you want to take away. People like you totally make my skin crawl.

    PS I like how you say a husband beating his innocent wife, because that innocent qualifier is important to religious zealots like you, because maybe if the woman, like, had sex on a stage with his best friend, then well, that would mean she’s not innocent and therefore his beating her is no crime. Same way you religious zealots glorify innocent preconscious life, before its birth into neglect and poverty steer that life into selling sex and drugs, at which point it belongs to the devil and you care not a lick about it. What a total reprehensible tool you are, arex.

  • ldan

    More accurately, a 22 yr-old college girl with a video camera and heavily edited footage got a lot of attention for herself and negative PR for PP thanks to the story getting a lot of airtime. I don’t recall investigations actually backing up any of her claims.


    So what’s actually happening is harassment that ties up law enforcement time that could be better spent going after actual criminals. For a group that’s so worried about their tax dollars so much as coming near a whiff of abortion, you sure don’t mind wasting taxpayer money investigating this sort of thing. But then the hypocrisy is sort of expected.

  • colleen

    Not sure if you’re new the the whole Lila Rose thing, but she has caught them doing things that are wrong.


     the things they “were doing that are wrong” were exactly what Arex? Were charges filed? Did anyone go to jail? Was anyone even  fined?

    It’s not as if PP has  spent generations allowing it’s employees to rape children and the used it’s  ‘moral authority’ to enable it’s many pedophiles to CONTINUE raping children while simultaneously threatening anyone who wanted to expose this institutional policy. It’s not as if PP spends hundreds of thousands of dollars for lawyers in attempts to defeat any effort to lengthen the statute of limitation so that victims of childhood sexual abuse can find justice. Now, if they don’t have anything to hide why would the Catholic church do those things?

  • invalid-0

    How much time do you think law enforcement officials are actually spending on this?  Don’t you think they are their own best judge of what is a judicious use of their time?

    In other words, if Lila’s off her knocker, they can always ignore her.  Just because someone “calls for an investigation” doesn’t mean there is one.

    Of course, if she’s right, and these facilities are breaking the law, isn’t that a GOOD use of law enforcement time?

  • invalid-0

    Oooh, ow.  You got me.  Officials in the Catholic Church covered up child abuse.  Therefore, Lila Rose must be full of crap.



  • invalid-0

    These college students are being pushed by a well-funded terrorist campaign against women

    Wha???  I think recently they got some funding to do some more of their work, but these kids are NOT that well funded.

    that innocent qualifier is important to religious zealots like you

    Hey nutbag, you don’t know me and I’ll appreciate you NOT generalizing me.

  • crowepps

    A man came into PP several times, identified himself as a lawbreaker involved in the sexual abuse of children, and when his actions were reported to law enforcement, you argue PP shouldn’t have wasted the time of law enforcement by asking them to investigate?


    Or are you saying that because during the investigation Lila Rose coyly hinted around that it MIGHT be one of her gotcha scams that law enforcement should back off and just assume without ever talking to him that the guy was one of her group of performance artists/fraudsters?


    What if he actually was real and Lila’s statement is just her towering ego triggering her usual response to the presence of a reporter: “Sure, everything is always all about ME”?  Did you see the story about the piano on the sandbar in Florida, and how a whole bunch of different losers attempted to claim the fame? 


    Surely Lila Rose wouldn’t go so far as to conspire in having children sexually abused as a strategy to have ‘evidence’ to ‘expose’ PP for providing them medical care.

    Surely she wouldn’t lie and cheat and pretend and make stuff up and attempt to make people feel sorry for her and then ‘reveal’ a tape of their sympathy and smear them so they get fired.

    Surely if Lila Rose really truly is an obsessive stalker invested in a conspiracy theory with delusions about how she has to ‘save’ the country someone will see to it that her mental illness is treated.

    Is Lila Rose really a close associate of an admitted pimp?  Why is she hiding his identity and location from the authorities?


    After all, if Lila Rose hasn’t done anything wrong, why won’t she come clean? Why won’t she tell the investigators and the rest of us the truth?  What is Lila Rose afraid of?


  • crowepps

    And you don’t know SaltyC and yet feel free to use the descriptor “nutbag”.  As a long-time reader of your posts here, and based entirely on the CONTENT of those posts, “religious zealot” seems fair to me. 

  • colleen

    I see that, as usual, you’re unable to actually answer a legitimate question or connect any dots at all.

  • goatini

    A week or so ago, PP announced that they’d contacted the Fibbies re: multiple locations reporting strange individuals visiting clinics with the same basic rap as this co-conspirator of Miss Rose’s who is on the film, and that they believed it was a hoax perpetrated by her criminal enterprise. 


    Miss Rose’s response at that time was that she would not confirm or deny, but that “explosive evidence” WOULD be forthcoming from her criminal enterprise in the very near future.


    I wondered then, so HOW is she so sure that her cabal was really “successful” in obtaining this “explosive evidence”? 


    Well, if you had a plant that you were 100% certain would say the rehearsed lines and stick to the script, you would be sure. 


    And if you then went around to several more clinics with the same MO, just to make the “sting” look like it was “random”, you’d think that you’d covered your @ss.


    I wonder if that little weasel Abby Johnson has anything to do with this scam? She would know people in national PP, and may have been a facilitator in setting up the plant.

  • lightning

    I think the perpetrators of this hoax thought they would never be noticed in the clinics, because they have convinced themselves that Planned Parenthood is CONSTANTLY dealing with people like the ones they styled themselves on for the interviews.

    But as we can see from this incident, IF AND WHEN PPFS do get these types, we DO hear about it, as they then report those “customers” to the authorities.

    Really, the Reich should have had sense enough to shelve the project when they realized they’d have to edit the record in order to accomplish their aims. Instead, they proceeded with the illicit editing they needed to do to accomplish the sting; I guess we now know that their primary aim was to sting, even if that meant lying, rather than to do justice to anyone.

    And seriously, given Andrew Brietbart’s record making movies, WHO would give over a hundred thousand dollars, to be used by anyone who knew Brietbart, for the same purpose?