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Entries in Abortion (22)

Wednesday
May152013

Convicted Abortion Doctor Given Third Life Sentence

Hemera/Thinkstock(PHILADELPHIA) -- Dr. Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia abortion doctor convicted of first-degree murder in the deaths of three babies, was sentenced Wednesday to a third life term.

Gosnell was handed two life sentences on Tuesday after a deal was struck with prosecutors, which spared him a potential death sentence. The third sentence was handed down on Wednesday. The 72-year-old was also sentenced to 2.5 to 5 years in prison for the 2009 overdose death of a female patient.

Gosnell was accused of performing late-term abortions on four babies who were born alive, but were then allegedly killed by Gosnell who "snipped" their spinal cords with scissors. He was cleared in the death of one of the infants.

The Philadelphia clinic run by Gosnell has been described as a "pill mill" for drug addicts by day, and an "abortion mill" by night. When Gosnell aborted the fetus of a teen who was nearly 30 weeks pregnant, he allegedly joked the baby was so big it could "walk to the bus."

The guilty verdicts against Gosnell came on Monday, the jury's tenth day of deliberations.

As part of the deal struck with prosecutors, Gosnell will serve three life sentences without the possibility of parole or the opportunity to appeal.

For two months, the jury heard often grisly testimony, including from members of Gosnell's staff. Eight staffers have pleaded guilty to several crimes. Prosecutors said none of the staff were licensed nurses or doctors.

Gosnell ran the Women's Medical Society in West Philadelphia for decades until February 2010, when FBI agents raided his clinic looking for evidence of prescription drug dealing.

Instead they found, as reported in a nearly 300-page grand jury report released in 2011, a filthy, decrepit "house of horrors."

Blood was on the floor, the clinic reeked of urine and bags of fetal remains were stacked in freezers. The clinic was shut down and Gosnell's medical license was suspended after the raid.

Despite repeated complaints to state officials over the years -- as well as 46 lawsuits filed against Gosnell -- investigators said in the report that state regulators had conducted five inspections since the clinic had opened in 1979.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Apr242013

Abortion Doctor Kermit Gosnell Ends Defense With No Witnesses

Hemera/Thinkstock(PHILADELPHIA) -- The attorney for controversial abortion doctor and accused murderer Kermit Gosnell rested his defense Wednesday without presenting any witnesses or calling on Gosnell to testify.

The announcement by Gosnell's attorney, Jack McMahon, came just a day after the defense began presenting its case, and signaled a quick end to a trial that has seen five weeks of testimony from prosecution witnesses.

Both prosecutors and defense attorneys will have the rest of the week to prepare closing statements in the case, which they will present on Monday, according to ABC News affiliate WPVI.

Gosnell is charged with four counts of first-degree murder stemming from the practices at his Philadelphia abortion clinic, where he allegedly used untrained staff to help perform late-term abortions that included, according to testimony, delivering babies and then killing them outside the womb.

He is accused of using scissors to snip the spinal chords of infants in cases where the abortion inside the womb failed, and the babies were delivered.

He could face the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder.

Prosecutors also say that the doctor overdosed a female patient with anesthesia and failed to get her medical help, which led to her death. He is charged with third-degree murder in her death.

Earlier this week, Judge Jeffrey Minehart dismissed three other murder charges that concerned allegedly killing infants who were born alive. Minehart said there was not enough evidence to send the charges to a jury.

Workers from the clinic had testified during the prosecution's case that they had seen some of the infants take a breath or move after they were delivered from their mothers, which prosecutors said showed that Gosnell killed viable infants after botched abortions, leading to the murder charges.

Gosnell's attorney asked Minehart to dismiss the charges after the prosecution rested.

"There is not one piece - not one - of objective, scientific evidence that anyone was born alive," McMahon said, according to WPVI. "These are not the movements of a live child."

The trial has roused both sides of the abortion debate, with abortion-rights activists condemning Gosnell's murder as far outside the bounds of legalized abortion and anti-abortions rights groups hoping the trial sheds light on what they see as the troubling aspects of abortion.

Ann Scheidler, a vice president for the Pro-Life Action League, said that the dropped charges showed the "gray area" that is difficult to sort through when it comes to judging when an infant is considered alive, with its own rights.

"It certainly does highlight the complications that begin to emerge when you're talking about life and death and that short distance, that short time between being in the womb and out of the womb," Scheidler said.

"At some point we're going to have to face the issue of just what is the difference and why is it okay to take a person's life if that life is still inside the womb, or when the baby is outside the womb but the intention was to take its life inside," she said.

Vicki Saporta, president for the abortion rights group National Abortion Federation, said that Gosnell took advantage of the women who came to him in need of an abortion. She said his clinic is not representative of safe, regulated abortion clinics.

"Unfortunately, you do have rogue providers that prey on the most vulnerable of women and regardless of a woman's income level they deserve access to high-quality care," Saporta said.

Saporta noted that Pennsylvania already has strict abortion regulations, but that the regulations were not enforced, allowing Gosnell to run an illegal operation.

"The fact that he wasn't providing care later and wasn't ensuring fetal demise and not operating under any established standards of care and outside of the law is the problem in this case, and not indicative of the high-quality care available across the country," Saporta said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Feb192013

Texas Teen Wins Right to Give Birth Despite Parents’ Objections

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A pregnant teen who sued her parents, claiming they were coercing her to have an abortion, will be able to give birth to her baby.

Attorneys representing the 16-year-old girl were granted a long-term injunction against the girl’s parents in Texas family court on Monday, according to court documents.  The teen is 10 weeks pregnant and the injunction will last for the duration of her pregnancy.

As part of the order, the girl will be able to use her car to go to school, work and medical appointments.  Her parents had taken away the use of the car as part of their effort to force an abortion, court papers stated.

The teen’s parents will be liable for half of the hospital bill when she gives birth, unless she is married to the baby’s 16-year-old father.

“We are extremely happy with the judge’s decision today and we are very proud of our teenage client for being strong enough to stand against her parents to save her unborn child’s life,” Greg Terra, president of the Texas Center for Defense of Life, said in a blog post on the group’s website.

Attorneys filed a lawsuit on the teen’s behalf earlier this month arguing that her parents “are violating her federal constitutional rights to carry her child to term by coercing her to have an abortion with both verbal and physical threats and harassment.”

The teen, identified in the lawsuit only as R.E.K. since she is a minor, was “beside herself” when she called the center for help, her lawyer Stephen Casey told ABC News last week.  The group claims it has previously represented teens in similar situations and won their cases.

“These girls are in a bind, particularly in a situation where their parents are forcing them to do something they don’t want to do,” Casey said.  “Regardless of the [situation], that’s her parents and she should expect support from them in this situation, not resentment and anger.”

When the pregnancy was confirmed, the teenager’s father allegedly “became extremely angry, was insistent that R.E.K. was not having the baby, and that the decision was not up to her," according to the lawsuit.  He stated he was going to take her to have an abortion and that the decision was his, end of story.

The teen claimed in the lawsuit that her parents had taken away her phone, pulled her out of school, forced her to get two jobs and took away her car in an effort to “make her miserable so that she would give in to the coercion and have the abortion.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan222013

Gay Rights Activists Look to Roe v. Wade Abortion Strategy 40 Years Later

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Demonstrators will take to the streets this week to protest Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion 40 years ago on Tuesday.

The "March for Life" comes two months before another group of advocates -- gay-rights activists -- will head to the Supreme Court to hear a case that could produce their own landmark decision.

Gay-marriage supporters have disagreed at times about a strategy to achieve gay-rights equality, with some of them looking for lessons in Roe v. Wade.

Roe was a landmark decision for its supporters.  They say that abortion is now safer and occurs earlier in pregnancy than ever before.  But some supporters of a woman's right to choose have criticized the decision, arguing in part that the court ruled more broadly than it needed to.

When Roe v. Wade came down, abortion was illegal in 30 states, but some states were pushing toward liberalizing abortion laws.  Roe called into question the criminal abortion statutes of every state, even those with less restrictive provisions.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, before she was nominated to the Supreme Court, wrote an essay in 1984 for the University of North Carolina School of Law arguing in part that Roe would have been "more acceptable as a judicial decision" if the court had focused on the extreme Texas statue that was before it instead of issuing such a sweeping decision.

"The political process was moving in the early 1970s," Ginsburg wrote, "not swiftly enough for advocates for quick, complete change, but majoritarian institutions were listening and acting.  Heavy-handed judicial intervention was difficult to justify and appears to have provoked, not resolved, conflict."

It is something that has not been lost on gay-rights advocates.

In his book, From the Closet to the Altar: Courts, Backlash, and the Struggle for Same-Sex Marriage, historian and legal expert Michael Klarman talks about the backlash Roe created.

"When the court intervenes to defend a minority position or even to resolve an issue that divides the country down the middle, its decisions can generate political backlash, especially when the losers are intensely committed, politically organized and geographically concentrated," Klarman writes.

He writes, "Roe v. Wade generated a politically potent right-to-life movement that helped elect Ronald Reagan president in 1980 and has significantly influenced national politics ever since."

Major gay-rights organizations plotted their own gay-marriage strategy years ago, hoping to move first at the state level to advance their cause to avoid a damaging federal court decision that might slow momentum or slam shut courthouse doors.

"It's no secret that increased political support for marriage equality at the local, state and national levels is obviously very helpful toward our ultimate goal of winning marriage equality across the country, whether it's through the Supreme Court or otherwise," Janson Wu, a staff attorney at Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, said.

Nine states and the District of Columbia allow gay marriage, and gay-rights advocates believe several other states will soon follow suit.

With that momentum behind them, they will head to the Supreme Court in March for a case regarding California's ban on same-sex marriage.  The case asks a very broad question: Do same-sex couples have a fundamental right to marry under the U.S. Constitution?  But there are a number of ways the court could rule in favor of gay rights, without reaching that big question.

Gay advocates want a win.  But some would be satisfied with a narrow victory that would continue the momentum and allow them to work on the state level to get more states on board, before perhaps returning to the Supreme Court.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov062012

At Colo. Polling Place, Church Has Anti-Abortion Display

Jessica Cuneo/Daily Camera(BOULDER, Colo.) -- A Boulder, Colo., church that is serving as a polling location has chosen to leave up its anti-abortion display for Election Day.

The Sacred Heart of Mary Catholic Church has left up signs and crosses meant to represent aborted fetuses as part of an October “Respect Life” month display on church grounds where Boulder County voters came to cast their votes Tuesday.

Molly Tayer, Boulder County’s deputy clerk and election coordinator, told ABC News that she had contacted the church regarding the removal of the religious signage when it was brought to her attention a few weeks ago.

She said she was told initially that the display would be taken down come the first weekend of November.

But Tayer got a call back on Friday from the church to let her know that “father has decided not to take it down.”

“We feel badly that we didn’t realize that this wasn’t going to be taken down this weekend, otherwise I would have tried to make other accommodations [for voters],” Tayer said. “After you advertise a polling place, it’s very difficult to change.”

Church representatives had signed a contract to serve as a polling place in April, said Tayer.

While there are regulations preventing electioneering – handing out materials, posting yard signs  – within 100 feet of an actual polling site, the church has not violated these rules, Tayer said.

According to Karna Swanson, spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Denver, officials had previously come to the church, surveyed the exhibit, and found no violation.

Voters can drive up to the polling site and not even see the signs, Swanson said.

“You’re going to have some religious signs around if you use the church as a polling site,” said Swanson.

While she hasn’t heard many people complain as of Election Day, Tayer said that “a number of our voting population found [the display] offensive.”

This is the second time the church has served as a polling site, Tayer said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct172012

Planned Parenthood Says Abortion Foes Used Fake Website

Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Planned Parenthood is accusing the anti-abortion group Live Action of creating a fraudulent website purporting to offer late-term abortion services for "VIP women," in order to collect confidential medical information.

According to Planned Parenthood, a woman posing as a potential donor arranged meetings with Planned Parenthood staffers in Washington earlier this month and then asked politically-pointed questions about federal funding for abortions and late-term abortions.

"Very quickly the questions she was asking and the website she had for her medical clinic and other information caused us to suspect that she was engaged in a very elaborate hoax, and indeed that is the case," said Eric Ferrero, vice president of communications for Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the political arm of Planned Parenthood.

The woman, who said her name was Wendy Reed, claimed she worked at a women's health clinic in Los Angeles and produced a business card with the website privatewomenscare.org listed on it, Ferrero said.

The website purported to represent a Los Angeles women's health clinic that offered abortions to "VIP women in the Los Angeles area," including late-term abortions coupled with spa treatments.

The website is no longer live.  A Planned Parenthood employee said that the site was taken down on Monday, Oct. 15, after the story of the alleged hoax was broken by the Huffington Post.

Planned Parenthood said it took screenshots of the website before it was pulled down.  The screenshots show a "contact" form on which women can submit information through the website.

It is not known how Live Action may have used any information collected through the site.  Phone calls placed by ABC News to a phone number on the website were not returned.

After asking for a second meeting with Wendy Reed, Planned Parenthood said it had a security guard ask her for identification.  She produced a shopping club membership card that read Wendy Wilmowski, who Planned Parenthood says is a real estate agent in Maryland.

Wendy Wilmowski did not return calls from ABC News for comment.

Live Action, which calls itself a "new media movement for life," released a statement Tuesday morning criticizing Planned Parenthood but not denying any of its accusations.

"Live Action's investigative work exposes the violent agenda which kills the most defenseless among us, hurts women and girls, and undermine (sic) human dignity," the statement read.  "If Planned Parenthood was suspicious of Live Action as they claim and stand by everything they said in recent encounters, they should have filmed the encounters themselves and release (sic) them publicly."

Live Action has secretly filmed encounters with Planned Parenthood staff in the past, editing them into movies for its website.

Kate Bryan, a spokeswoman for Live Action, refused to speak on the phone with ABC News about the accusations.  She asked that questions be sent to her by email.

On Thursday, one week after the woman believed to be Wilmowski met with Planned Parenthood staffers in Washington, Planned Parenthood organizers sent a letter to the California Attorney General's office asking that Live Action be investigated for its fake medical health website.

A spokesman for the Attorney General's office said they had received the letter from Planned Parenthood and were reviewing it.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug212012

GOP Approves Abortion Amendment, Keeps Silent on Cases of Rape

Kris Connor/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Republican National Committee approved a platform amendment opposing abortion Tuesday, essentially reproducing its stated policies from 2008 and 2004 -- and highlighting a potential divide between Mitt Romney and some in his party on the issue.

The amendment does not mention cases of rape, incest or danger to the life of the mother. Romney supports the legality of abortion in those cases, but Republicans disagree on the point. By remaining silent on the issue, the platform leaves room for disagreement within Republican ranks.

After controversial comments by Senate candidate Todd Akin of Missouri on rape and pregnancy brought the issue of abortion in cases of rape to the forefront of national discussion, the Romney campaign said on Monday in a prepared statement: "Gov. Romney and Congressman Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin’s statement, and a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape.”

Romney and former president George W. Bush hold the same view on abortion, according to National Right to Life Committee Executive Director David O’Steen. In conversations with the group, both men represented their stances as anti-abortion except in cases of rape, incest or threat to the life of the mother, O’Steen said.

At a meeting of the RNC Platform Committee in Tampa, Fla., committee chairman and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell congratulated members of the subcommittee that drafted the language of the platform amendment.

“In past platforms, that has been in hours of discussion, and I applaud the committee’s work in our respect for human life. Well done,” McDonnell said, announcing the amendment’s inclusion in the party platform without objection and without a vote.

Here is the text of the new platform section on “sanctity of life,” as dictated to ABC over the phone by an RNC official:

Faithful to the “self-evident” truths enshrined in our Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a Human Life Amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the 14th Amendment protections apply to unborn children. We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion or fund organizations which perform or advocate abortion coverage. We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life. We oppose the non-consensual withholding or withdrawal of care or treatment, including food and water, from people with disabilities, including newborns, as well as the elderly and the infirm; just as we oppose active and passive euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Republican leadership has led the effort to prohibit the barbaric practice of partial birth abortions, permitted states to extend health care coverage to children before birth. We urge Congress to extend health care coverage to children before birth. We urge Congress to strengthen the Born Alive Infant Protection Act by exacting appropriate civil and criminal penalties to health care providers who fail to provide treatment and care to an infant who survives an abortion, including early induction delivery where the death of the infant is intended. We call for legislation to ban sex-selective abortions – gender-discrimination in its most lethal form – and to protect the lives of pain-capable unborn children in the District of Columbia. We call for a revision of federal law 42USC289.92 to bar the use of body parts from aborted fetuses for research. We support and applaud adult stem cell research to develop life-saving therapies, and we oppose the killing of embryos for their stem cells. We oppose federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.

We also salute the many states that have passed laws for informed consent, mandatory waiting periods prior to an abortion, and health-protective clinic regulations. We seek to protect young girls from exploitation through a parental consent requirement; and we affirm our moral obligation to assist, rather than penalize, women challenged by unplanned pregnancy. We salute those who provide them with counseling and adoption alternatives and empower them to choose life, and we take comfort in the tremendous increase in adoption that has followed Republican legislative initiatives.

Here is the text of the same section in the last iteration of the RNC platform (page 52), approved in 2008:

Faithful to the first guarantee of the Declaration of Independence, we assert the inherent dignity and sanctity of all human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution, and we endorse legislation to make clear that the 14th Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children. We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion and will not fund organizations which advocate it. We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity and dignity of innocent human life.

We have made progress. The Supreme Court has upheld prohibitions against the barbaric practice of partial-birth abortion. States are now permitted to extend health-care coverage to children before birth. And the Born Alive Infants Protection Act has become law; this law ensures that infants who are born alive during an abortion receive all treatment and care that is provided to all newborn infants and are not neglected and left to die. We must protect girls from exploitation and statutory rape through a parental notification requirement. We all have a moral obligation to assist, not to penalize, women struggling with the challenges of an unplanned pregnancy. At its core, abortion is a fundamental assault on the sanctity of innocent human life. Women deserve better than abortion. Every effort should be made to work with women considering abortion to enable and empower them to choose life. We salute those who provide them alternatives, including pregnancy care centers, and we take pride in the tremendous increase in adoptions that has followed Republican legislative initiatives.

Respect for life requires efforts to include persons with disabilities in education, employment, the justice system, and civic participation. In keeping with that commitment, we oppose the nonconsensual withholding of care or treatment from people with disabilities, as well as the elderly and infirm, just as we oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide, which endanger especially those on the margins of society. Because government should set a positive standard in hiring and contracting for the services of persons with disabilities, we need to update the statutory authority for the AbilityOne program, the main avenue by which those productive members of our society can offer high quality services at the best possible value.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug202012

Rep. Akin Shouldn’t Be in Office, Planned Parenthood Head Says

Chris Maddaloni/Roll Call/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards denounced Rep. Todd Akin’s comment that women rarely get pregnant from “legitimate rape,” saying this morning that the statement was an “egregious example” of legislators “making policy on women’s health without understanding it.”

“This statement by Mr. Akin is, I think, politics at its worst, ignoring basic medicine and science in pursuit of some political ideology,” Richards said today during a conference call with reporters.

Richards stopped short of calling for Akin to resign, noting that he joins a “long line of examples” of congressmen who are putting their “own personal political ideology ahead of the needs of women.”

“I don’t want to address whether he should resign, but I don’t think he should be in office,” she said in response to a question from ABC News. “This is more evidence of when policy makers are literally legislating about women’s health and they don’t have the most basic understanding particularly of women’s reproductive care. This is perfect evidence of that enormous danger.”

Richards addressed the Akin controversy during a conference call announcing that Planned Parenthood will use the $3 million in public donations it received the week that the Susan G. Komen Foundation announced it was pulling funding for the group on breast cancer screenings and educational outreach.

Akin, who is opposed to abortions in all cases including rape, said Sunday on the Jaco Report radio show.

“It seems to me first of all from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” Akin said in response to a question about supporting legal abortions for rape victims. “If it’s a legitimate rape the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

“But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something,” Akin continued. “I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist, not attacking the child.”

Akin said today that he “misspoke” and has “deep empathy” for rape victims.

In the 24 hours following Akin’s remarks even staunch abortion opponents have condemned his comments. GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney dubbed Akin’s remarks “insulting, inexcusable, and, frankly, wrong,” in an interview with the National Review this morning.

Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., and Sen. Rob Johnson, R-Wisc., said Akin should resign from his Missouri Senate race where he is seeking to unseat Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jul022012

Mississippi’s Only Abortion Clinic Survives, For Now

Esme E. Deprez/Bloomberg via Getty Images(JACKSON, Miss.) -- A federal district judge in Mississippi prevented the state’s only abortion clinic from being shut down on Sunday by putting a temporary restraining order on a law that would require the clinic’s doctors to have admitting privileges at a local hospital.

If the law, which passed the state Legislature in April, would have taken effect as scheduled on July 1, Mississippi would be the only state in the country where women would not have access to abortions.

The only abortion clinic in the state, Jackson Women’s Health Organization, has two OB-GYN doctors who perform abortions, both of whom applied for admitting privileges at area hospitals “months” ago, said the clinic’s owner Diane Derzis. None of the hospitals have responded to those requests.

“We can’t do anything else; we are waiting for the hospitals,” Derzis told ABC News. “I’m sure those hospitals are going to be threatened and harassed just like we are.”

U.S. District Judge Daniel Jordan wrote in the court opinion that there was no evidence against the clinic’s claims that “law’s purpose is to eliminate abortions in Mississippi” and that “no safety or health concerns motivated its passage.”

Jordan will decide at a July 11 hearing whether to grant a permanent injunction against the law to keep the Jackson clinic open.

When the bill passed in April, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant heralded it as “the first step” to making Mississippi the first abortion-free state. Bryant accused the bill’s Democratic opponents of having one goal: “to abort children.”

“Their one mission in life is to abort children, is to kill children in the womb,” Bryant told conservative radio host Tony Perkins in April.

Following the court’s restraining order Sunday night, Byrant’s spokesman Mick Bullock said the governor was “disappointed” but will work to “ensure this legislation properly takes effect as soon as possible.”

Mississippi already has one of the lowest abortion rates in the country, with a mere 0.2 percent of all the abortions given in the United States in 2008 taking place in Mississippi, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a sexual health research group.

Similar laws were passed in Arizona and Tennessee that require abortion-performing doctors to have admitting privileges at a local hospital.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May302012

Lawmakers, Activists Target ‘Gendercide’ Sex Selection

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- In the style of activist-filmmaker James O’Keefe, an anti-abortion group has released an undercover video purportedly showing a Planned Parenthood counselor in Texas assisting a woman who says she’s seeking a sex-selection 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?” the Planned Parenthood counselor asks on the tape. “The abortion covers you up to 23 weeks and usually at five months is usually when they detect, you know, whether it’s a boy or a girl.”

At the close of the conversation, when the woman who says she’s pregnant thanks the Planned Parenthood counselor for not “placing judgment” on her choice, the counselor replies cheerily, “Good luck, and I hope that you do get your boy.”

Released Tuesday, the video was made by Live Action, a group headed by Lila Rose, the 23-year-old media darling of the anti-abortion movement. The video is labeled “Part 1″ on the group’s website, suggesting there might be more tapes coming, in the style of conservatives O’Keefe and the late publisher-commentator Andrew Breitbart.

The video can be found here.

Planned Parenthood has denounced the video as an effort to “promote false claims about our organization and patient services. In highly unusual and scripted scenarios, hoax patients sought services related to sex selection.”

The group said in a statement that it fired the staff member depicted in the April 11 video and that “all staff members at this affiliate were immediately scheduled for retraining in managing unusual patient encounters.”

“Gendercide” -- the practice of killing baby girls or terminating pregnancies solely because the fetus is female -- is estimated to have produced a “gender imbalance” of more than 100 million girls around the world. The practice is widespread in some Asian countries but not limited to them.

Many nations with pro-abortion-rights laws and protections, nevertheless, ban sex-selection abortions. Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Finland and the Netherlands have laws banning sex-selection abortions. The United States does not.

This is the next front in the abortion debate for many anti-abortion activists. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives, however, will vote on legislation this week that would ban sex-selective abortions in the United States

The Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA) of 2012, sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., is scheduled to come to the House floor as soon as Wednesday under suspension of the rules. A suspension vote requires a two-thirds majority to pass.

The measure is expected to be approved in the House, although it’s unclear whether the Democratically controlled Senate would follow suit.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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