Planned Parenthood of Indiana is reeling from the disclosure of an undercover video showing a counselor telling a woman posing as a 13-year-old girl that she doesn’t care about the age of the man who impregnated her — a violation of state law. The video below was shot by an anti-abortion group called Live Action.
The video here shows a nursing aide who is told by the woman that she is 13 years old and that she was impregnated by a 31 year old man. “I don’t care how old he is,” the counselor says in the video.
Indiana law required that workers report any sexual acts between an adult and a child under 14. Planned Parenthood has called for the retraining of its staff and immediately suspended the two staff members involved in the video controversy.
The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office in Indianapolis, however, is looking into any laws that might have been violated with the possibility of a grand jury investigation — though the violations appear an aberration.
The use of such undercover taping is itself an interesting element. The woman is a very young looking 20-year-old UCLA student named Lila Rose, who was posing as a 13-year-old. The courts have rejected claims that such undercover videos violate privacy rights in tort actions. A very analogous case was decided by Judge Richard Posner in Desnick v. American Broadcasting Co.. The court held that ABC PrimeTime did not violate privacy protections when it used a hidden camera and fake patients to show what it alleged were unnecessary cataract surgeries performed at an ophthalmic clinic. Posner, writing for a unanimous panel, held that “consent to an entry is often given legal effect even though the entrant has intentions that if known to the owner of the property would cause [the owner] . . . to revoke his consent.”
Yet, an abortion clinic comes with some added constitutional concerns. To the extent that such undercover activities are viewed as harassing the right to choose, it could lead to challenges.
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