Published January 13, 2015
A Planned Parenthood of Indiana counselor has resigned after an undercover video showed her telling a woman posing as a 13-year-old that she didn't care about the age of the man who impregnated her, the group said Friday.
Two videos shot at the organization's clinics by an anti-abortion group appear to show workers unconcerned about state law requiring anyone learning of sexual acts between an adult and a child under 14 to report them to police or child welfare authorities. A nursing aide seen in the other video was previously fired.
Planned Parenthood said Friday it has enlisted an outside group to help retrain its workers on the legal requirements for reporting abuse.
Planned Parenthood of Indiana's president and CEO, Betty Cockrum, also called on the anti-abortion group Live Action to give it copies of all the undercover video it shot at clinics in Bloomington and Indianapolis that showed a young patient claiming she had been impregnated by an older man.
"It's right for us to see what our staff said and did," Cockrum said.
The steps were announced a day after the Marion County Prosecutor's Office in Indianapolis said it would have a grand jury investigate whether any laws were broken at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Indianapolis.
"We took swift action. Both employees were immediately suspended," Cockrum said in a telephone interview Friday. "Both are no longer working for us."
Video released by Live Action on Tuesday shows a counselor at the Indianapolis clinic and 20-year-old UCLA student Lila Rose, who was posing as a 13-year-old and says the man who impregnated her was 31.
"I don't care how old he is," the counselor says in the video.
The Indianapolis counselor, who has not been identified, resigned in the middle of the organization's investigation, Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Kate Shepherd said.
The nursing aide fired earlier from the Bloomington clinic made a similar claim in the other video. Both videos were shot in June.
Rose said Friday the group was sending both unedited videos from Indiana to authorities, even though they had not yet been contacted. She also has said her group intends to post the unedited video online.
"Self-regulation has not worked for Planned Parenthood as they have routinely evaded the very Indiana laws that protect children from sexual abuse," Rose said in a prepared statement. She said Indiana authorities should investigate and hold Planned Parenthood accountable for its "criminal activity."
Cockrum denied the two cases indicated Planned Parenthood has a culture of failing to report sexual activity by underage children, as some opponents have alleged. She said her organization conducts audits to turn up abuse cases that haven't been reported.
Planned Parenthood reported 123 cases of suspected child abuse to Indiana authorities in 2007, Shepherd said.
"I'm very serious when I say it's an imperative here. We take this reporting requirement very seriously," Cockrum said.
Planned Parenthood has enlisted Prevent Child Abuse Indiana to help it retrain staff. Sandy Runkle, programs director for the anti-abuse group, said members met with Planned Parenthood on Thursday.
Runkle said it was too early to say what form the retraining would take and who would provide it.
Planned Parenthood employs a staff of more than 200 at its 35 health clinics across Indiana.