Supporting women?

First, we had the Women’s March lamenting on Twitter how disappointed they were that the website Backpage.com had been shut down by federal authorities. Despite the fact that Backpage was considered by law enforcement to be a major facilitator for the sex-trafficking trade involving women and children, an organization supposedly all about supporting women still found the closure of the site to be a huge negative versus a major positive step in the right direction. Here’s what the Women’s March said on Twitter back in early April:

“The shutting down of Backpage is an absolute crisis for sex workers who rely on the site to safely get in touch with clients. Sex workers’ rights are women’s rights.”

As I was still trying to wrap my head around their thought process, or the lack thereof, along comes another organization, also claiming to be a champion of women’s rights, reportedly doing just the opposite of what they claim to stand for.

According to a new undercover report by the pro-life group Live Action, instead of being part of the solution in solving sexual abuse, Planned Parenthood is actually a big part of the problem. The report, “Aiding Abusers: Planned Parenthood’s Cover Up of Child Sexual Abuse,” was released at the end of May. In the introduction, Live Action explains how Planned Parenthood was allegedly saying one thing and doing another:

“While Planned Parenthood frequently attempts to establish itself as a leading advocate on this critical issue, it is actually one of the biggest accomplices to child sexual abuse in the nation. ...

“Time and again, rather than reporting suspected abuse to authorities, Planned Parenthood has repeatedly looked the other way, performed abortions on victims as young as 12 years old, and then returned those victims into the waiting arms of their abusers. Planned Parenthood’s repeated failure to report such incidents has allowed abusers to continue abusing their victims, often for years.”

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The report goes on to say how Planned Parenthood has become anything but a haven for women needing help and advice.

“A study on the brutal sex trafficking trade published by the Loyola University Chicago’s Beazley Institute documents how traffickers often force their victims to get abortions at Planned Parenthood so they can quickly get them back on the streets.

“The report notes that victims had ‘significant contact with clinical treatment facilities, most commonly Planned Parenthood.’ In fact, Planned Parenthood was the top most-visited facility for trafficking victims, second only to hospital emergency rooms. When asked why they went to Planned Parenthood, one survivor said ‘because they didn’t ask any questions.’”

In addition to the Loyola study, Live Action compiled court cases, health department reports, testimonials from former Planned Parenthood employees, interviews with former clients and undercover videos where investigators posed as underage girls being pressured into abortions. You can find the full report at www.liveaction.org.

The general public may not be aware of the strong connection between the nation’s number one abortion provider and the Women’s March. Planned Parenthood is actually listed as a major sponsor and partner of the Women’s March events.

I wonder how many also realize that the Women’s March kicked pro-life groups to the curb when they attempted to register for the first March in 2017. So much for their claim of representing a diverse group of women. Maybe between the public blunder of March organizers and the alleged cover-up of Planned Parenthood, the public will connect the dots and realize that birds of a feather do flock together.

Teresa Tomeo is the host of “Catholic Connection,” produced by Ave Maria Radio, and the author of “Beyond Sunday: Becoming a 24/7 Catholic” (OSV, $14.95).