07/02/11

Scandal: clinic cares for hookers

I’ve been taken to task for not commenting on the ink-blot of corruption that is spreading inexorably across the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria. But really, the revelation that dosh sloshed out by the GFATM gets swilled into politicians’ pockets is about as exciting as the discovery that FIFA board members accepted a free dinner or two from Russian oligarchs before awarding the World Cup to Moscow. As the AIDS mafia has joked for years, it’s not called the “ATM” for nothing.

So instead, I’ll have a rant about something that is somehow still shocking to me: the lengths to which loopy anti-abortion groups in the United States will go to deprive women of safe contraception and sexual health care. The target, once again, is Planned Parenthood. Over a one-week period last month, men went in to the sexual health service providers clinics in 11 cities, claiming to be sex traffickers seeking services, including abortions, for the underage girls they’ve enslaved. That would be a really dumb strategy for a real sex trafficker — in the US, even more than in Britain, the authorities are under pressure to find the army of enslaved girls that the abolitionists conjure up at every turn. It’s a well-hidden army; though a massive UK crackdown led to over 500 arrests related to selling sex a while back, it didn’t yield a single trafficker. Not that that has stopped the abolitionists’ conjuring. Shame on The Guardian for not referring back to its own excellent investigative work in this area.

Planned Parenthood immediately suspected that no trafficker would be that dumb. Certainly not 11 traffickers in different cities in a week, when such a thing had never happened before. Though it smelled like a hoax, they dutifully reported the alleged trafficking to the FBI and asked for an investigation. Now Loopy anti-abortionist group Live Action has admitted, with some pride, to their juvenile prank. They’ve released two of their “undercover” videos, to which they’ve they added juvenile-prank-style title screens.

My personal favourite: “Planned Parenthood Gets the Pimp Discount for His Underage Sex Slaves”. I will say that the clinic manager in New Jersey sails pretty close to the wind. But then which of us who has tried to provide services for people in need who have nowhere else to go does not bend the rules? As Planned Parenthood says: “Falsely claiming sex trafficking to health professionals to advance a political agenda is an astoundingly cynical form of political activity.”

Compared to this, the standard operating procedures in the AIDS world — using Global Fund money to buy 4x4s for officials — seem somewhat tame.

Update: (or rather backdate). Steve sent me this interesting reminder of an earlier assault on Planned Parenthood. Sigh.

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This post was published on 07/02/11 in Ideology and HIV, Money and AIDS, Videos.

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  1. Pingback by Love Bites: Clarisse Thorn | Time Out Chicago » » Ridiculous plot to frame Planned Parenthood as sex traffickers, 07/02/11, 02:26:

    […] Ridiculous plot to frame Planned Parenthood as sex traffickersFebruary 6th, 2011 @ 8:26 pm I bet you thought this title was a joke. You’d be wrong. My favorite post on the subject comes from Elizabeth Pisani: […]

  2. Comment by Mike, 11/02/11, 04:17:

    The pranks may have been done to coincide with the Jan. 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. Any talk blaming the U.S. supreme court or Planned Parenthood helps to obscure how long forms of birth control and abortion have existed in human history.

    George Orwell addressed the importance of helping people with STIs in his “As I Please” column in Tribune in March 28, 1947

    “You can’t deal with these diseases so long as they are thought of as visitations of God, in a totally different category from all other diseases. The inevitable result of that is concealment and quack remedies. And it is humbug to say that ‘clean living is the only real remedy’. You are bound to have promiscuity and prostitution in a society like ours, where people mature sexually at about fifteen and are discouraged from marrying till they are in their twenties, where conscription and the need for mobility of labour break up family life, and where young people living in big towns have no regular way of forming acquaintanceships. It is impossible to solve the problem by making people more moral, because they won’t, within any foreseeable time, become as moral as all that. Besides, many of the victims of venereal disease are husbands or wives who have not themselves committed any so-called immoral act. The only sensible course is to recognize that syphilis and gonorrhoea are merely diseases, more preventable if not curable than most, and that to suffer from them is not disgraceful. No doubt the pious ones would squeal. But in doing so they might avow their real motives, and then we should be a little nearer to wiping out this evil.”

    http://www.netcharles.com/orwell/essays/asiplease1947-03.htm

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