Anti-Abortion Group Manufactures Controversy Over Sex-Selective Abortions

An anti-abortion group called Live Action released a “sting” video Tuesday of a woman asking for a sex-selective abortion at a Planned Parenthood and being assisted by a staff member.

The sting, according to the group, shows that Planned Parenthood is helping women have abortions based on the gender of their fetus. But Planned Parenthood has already condemned the staff member’s behavior, saying, “Within three days of this patient interaction, the staff member’s employment was ended and all staff members at this affiliate were immediately scheduled for retraining in managing unusual patient encounters.”

Planned Parenthood also clarified that they strongly oppose sex-selective abortions and “racism and sexism in all forms.”

Lila Rose, the head of Live Action, claimed sex-selective abortion is a growing problem in the United States and that the video proves it. But the facts don’t agree with Rose, according to Jezebel:

Statistics do not indicate that the US has a problem with sex-selective abortions, nor do they indicate an increasing gender discrepancy in the American birth rate. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, the sex ratio — the number of baby boys born per 1,000 baby girls — has actually been decreasing slightly but steadily over the last 30 years. In 1983, 1,052 boys were born for every 1,000 girls born in the US; in 2009, 1,048 boys were born for every 1,000 girls. This is only indicative of a “growing problem” if by “growing problem,” Rose means “growing anti-abortion rights talking point.”

Here’s the “sting”:

The release of the video conspicuously came one day before House members vote on a Republican-backed bill to ban physicians from performing abortions based on the fetus’ sex. Rather than addressing inequality, PRENDA would exacerbate sex and race discrimination by targeting women of color from communities associated with sex selection whom doctors might suspect of wanting to have a prohibited abortion.