Why PP Series: #5: PP Plays Dirty

BREAKING NEWS from Students For Life of America!!! Jill Stanek has posted to her blog SFLA’s most recent PP expose! A counselor at Freehold Planned Parenthood in New Jersey counseled a woman about her abortion–admitting that sometimes during an abortion the baby is born alive, but it doesn’t survive long!!! This directly violates the Born Alive Infants Protection Act!

Planned Parenthood logo covered with mudIn this segment of my “Why Planned Parenthood” Series, I’d like to broaden the scope to look at the various other bad behavior and crimes PP has been accused of. Planned Parenthood thinks they don’t have to play by the rules. Their failure to report statutory rapists is certainly one element of this. However, they also don’t feel they have to follow the same rules other organizations that receive taxpayer funding do. Recently in the news (see the LA Times, Life News, and the American Life League or watch the ALL video) was an investigation by the Gerard Health Foundation, which uncovered Planned Parenthood’s overcharging California taxpayers by $180 million dollars. And that’s just in California! They also sneak into neighborhoods under false aliases. In the case of their Aurora clinic, Planned Parenthood/Chicago Area CEO Steve Trombley said, “Frankly, I’m surprised we were able to keep it a secret for so long.” They called themselves “Gemini Office Development,” and said they didn’t know who would be occupying the building—but PP was planning to move in there all along. Perhaps most importantly right now, they accused League Communications Director Eric Scheidler of being violent and doing things like bombing abortion clinics. Not only has the League never done such things (World Magazine published a great article called “Perjury” about this, which, unfortunately, cannot be accessed online for free), but Eric has never even been arrested! So we sued for libel. As Eric wrote in September:

In their argument before the court, Trombley’s attorneys declared that the anti-SLAPP law gives him blanket immunity from liability for defamation, and that freedom of speech itself is at stake in Illinois if I’m allowed to go forward with my libel suit. Trombley is claiming, in effect, that I filed this libel suit not to clear my good name after he spread lies about my father and our organization, the Pro-Life Action League, but to silence his freedom of speech.

For those of us not already familiar with SLAPP, I think this explanation of the effects of SLAPP by the First Amendment Project is a very succinct one:

Most SLAPPs are ultimately legally unsuccessful. While most SLAPPs lose in court, they “succeed” in the public arena. This is because defending a SLAPP, even when the legal defense is strong, requires a substantial investment of money, time, and resources. The resulting effect is a “chill” on public participation in, and open debate on, important public issues. This “chilling” effect is not limited to the SLAPP target(s): fearful of being the target of future litigation, others refrain from speaking on, or participating in, issues of public concern.

Now, the thing that gets me, is that this sounds like us. What I mean is, pro-lifers are being “chilled” by this lawsuit—they are more afraid to “participat[e] in” “important public issues” because they don’t want to be accused of being violent clinic bombers. But PP used this law to say that they are the ones being silenced by the prolifers! They are afraid to speak up because of us. Hmmmm. PP claimed that they needed protection from FVFAPP. So, the judge ruled that PP should be allowed to say whatever they wanted, since they were simply trying to get their clinic opened (they were participating in “important public issues”. Again, as Eric wrote:

nothing in it [Judge Brawka’s ruling] addressed the merits of our case. You would think that a ruling in a libel suit would have something to do with whether the accused made statements he knew to be false about the plaintiff, but there wasn’t a word about it. Her only concern was whether or not Steve Trombley was pursuing a favorable outcome from the government of the City of Aurora when the ads and letter were published.

Go figure. I’ll leave this one to our lawyers to decipher and the appeals court to rule on . For us in the law-layity, the important thing is whether Eric, FVFAPP, or PLAL ever did any of these bad things we were accused of: the answer is no. More on the story is available from Illinois Federation for Right to Life and at Illinois Review. Links for further information: Former PP Employees Sue PP: Here’s an interesting story about former PP employees suing Steve Trombley and the Chicagoland PP organization. I guess it’s no wonder that they’ve had to make becoming a great place to work and volunteer one of the goals of their 25 year plan. Title X Funding Misuse: This is another interesting exposé of Planned Parenthood. Title X funding cannot be used to perform abortions. A woman called PP clinics that received Title X funds to ask whether they perform abortions. Although they would claim that the tax money doesn’t directly fund abortions, the fact that they have this money means they can allocate other funds towards abortion instead of on those other services, essentially meaning the abortions are subsidized. This also undercuts the privately owned “mom and pop” chop shops, since they don’t receive federal subsidies to help pay for their other costs. Like they say, there is no honor among thieves. Censorship YouTube videos: 1) Although dozens of videos of a boy desecrating the Eucharist (something which clearly falls under YouTube’s hate speech designation) were allowed to remain on YouTube for months, the site keeps taking down the Students for Life videos that expose PP’s assault on youth. Obviously PP doesn’t want the videos shown. And obviously they have more clout than the millions of enraged Catholics do, since they’re able to swiftly remove the videos they want taken down. 2) And in this video, Lila Rose accuses PP of getting YouTube to take down her videos, which expose PP’s racism. Getting Back Your Tax Dollars: STOPP International has posted a Battle Plan on their website to help individuals take back their tax dollars from PP on the local, state, and national levels. It looks like the recession is good for one thing: Sarasota County just cut PP’s funding from their budget. They figured an organization with a billion dollar budget—and hundreds of thousands of dollars left at the end of each year—could do without the county’s $25,000. Some of our Representatives are making the push to eliminate their funding. ProLifeInformation has posted YouTube videos of arguments made in the House of Representatives to defund Planned Parenthood, if you’re in to watching that kind of thing. Representative Jim Jordan details how pro-life tax dollars help Planned Parenthood’s political action committee. Representative Sali presents information about PP’s wasting of taxpayer money. Representative Michele Bachmann (R, MN) argued that PP has a billion dollar budget and more than $100,000 left over at the end of the year. But 1/3 of PP’s money comes from taxpayers—why should they get our money? More misc. Information Available: Illinois Right to Life Committee has posted a massive collection of links to many other stories, some of which I have discussed in previous posts, some of which I have not. And of course, STOPP International is focused solely on fighting PP. If you don’t know where your nearest PP location is, STOPP’s map room shows prayer vigil locations. The 40 Days for Life website also lists activists in your area. And don’t forget to visit our Sidewalk Counseling map, which lists the names of 150 individuals and groups who are out on the streets working to stop abortion by talking to the women entering the clinics.

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