A wave of celebrities is leading the charge to expose sexual abuse in the entertainment industry and support those who bravely come forward with their stories — and rightly so. The industry is apparently riddled with it, and no one should suffer abuse. Yet some of the the same celebrities claiming to advance the #MeToo movement also use their platforms to support Planned Parenthood, which has been shown to be a useful tool for sex traffickers and rapists.
“It’s not the people who don’t know that worry me, it’s the people who do know and do nothing,” remarked “Daily Show” host Trevor Noah. Planned Parenthood has a documented history of enabling abuse — celebrities who know should so something.
Live Action recently documented the failure of Planned Parenthood to comply with laws requiring mandatory reporting of child sex abuse, rape, and incest. The report documents how several girls, as young as 12 years old, had abortions at Planned Parenthood, and yet the organization did nothing to report the victims’ cases to authorities. Rather than reporting these crimes as they are legally mandated to do, Planned Parenthood turned a blind eye to the signs of abuse these girls presented.
Planned Parenthood was more interested in performing abortions for profit than in protecting young women from sexual exploitation, yet it hails itself as a champion for women. This should be of no surprise though. Planned Parenthood is also a partner to the Women’s March, which decried the shut-down and seizure of Backpage.com — a hub of child sex trafficking according to a Senate investigative report.
According to another report, Planned Parenthood was the second most visited facility for trafficking victims. The Beazley Institute at Loyola University of Chicago reports that 29.6 percent of sex trafficking victims visited Planned Parenthood, because in the words of one victim “they don’t ask questions.” Court cases, state health department reports, and testimonials from former Planned Parenthood managers and employees all document Planned Parenthood’s failure to report suspicious incidents. This is despite the fact that Planned Parenthood employees, including counselors, therapists, mental health professionals, physicians, nurses, healthcare personnel, and other staff, along with volunteers, are mandatory reporters under the law.
Denise Fairbanks had an abortion at Planned Parenthood at the age of sixteen after being sexually abused by her father since she was thirteen. Fairbanks told the staff she was raped by her father, but they did not report the incident. Instead, they sent her home, where she was raped by her father again.
George Savanah repeatedly raped his daughter and impregnated her when she was 14, 16, and 17. He forced her to get abortions, yet Planned Parenthood failed to report these incidents. Time and time again young girls were brought to Planned Parenthood locations around the country showing the obvious signs of abuse, and yet the organization did nothing. Employee testimonials described a “don’t ask don’t tell” policy regarding the reporting of sexual abuse to authorities, and said they were encouraged not to cause trouble by angering a parent or boyfriend.
Undercover investigations by Live Action in 2008 and 2011 showed that Planned Parenthood was willing to cover up the rape of thirteen-year-old girls by thirty-one-year-old men, and aid those who were trafficking fourteen and fifteen-year-old girls. After findings from the 2011 investigation went viral, Planned Parenthood promised to retrain their employees on how to identify and report potential child sex abuse and trafficking. But instead, they did the opposite of what they promised the public and used those meetings to teach employees how to avoid being caught on video.
Planned Parenthood is the largest recipient of federal Title X family planning funds at nearly $60 million a year, all the while ignoring the laws that Title X recipients must comply with. To receive grants under the Title X program, recipients must comply with state laws requiring the notification of child abuse, molestation, sexual abuse, rape, and incest. Yet Planned Parenthood has manifestly failed to do so, and should not receive a cent of Title X money.
The new Title X regulations proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services would require Planned Parenthood to document its compliance in order to receive Title X funds. How many traumatized young women must be re-victimized before this happens?
The #MeToo movement is not only for the elite members of our society who have been victims of abuse, but should also be for the everyday young woman. She shouldn’t have to walk into a place that she believes is safe, but instead is only safe for her abusers. She isn’t on the cover of Time magazine — who will stand up for her?
The evidence that Planned Parenthood is in fact an abuse “enabler” is overwhelming, and those who try to advocate for Planned Parenthood and victims of abuse are not completing the work of signaling to abusers that their time is up.