Women’s Groups Targeted by Dirty Tricks Campaign
For Immediate Release: Jan. 27, 2013
Apparently Fake Women’s Health Website Run by Political Operatives Created to Undermine Women’s Campaigns
National women’s health and rights organizations have been the target of a dirty tricks scheme in what appears to be an effort to bolster support for the Romney campaign. The elaborate hoax includes a website for an apparently fake medical clinic purporting to offer nonexistent abortion services and soliciting personal information from unsuspecting potential patients.
In the last week a hoax donor claiming to be associated with the fake medical clinic approached a number of leading women’s campaigns, including the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, claiming to be interested in making a substantial donation in support of electoral work. Planned Parenthood Action Fund believes that the visits were arranged by or in cooperation with Live Action, a group whose mission is to oppose Planned Parenthood and regularly uses secret recordings to create edited campaign videos.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund and Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California last week formally asked the California attorney general to investigate the medical hoax website offering services in California, which appears to violate multiple consumer protection laws in California.
“This appears to be an elaborate hoax, less than four weeks before an election with enormous stakes for women’s health,” said Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. “It is outrageous that opponents of women’s health would lie to the public and put real women at risk. They know their only hope to overturn Roe v Wade and to defund Planned Parenthood is to elect Mitt Romney, and it’s now clear there is nothing they won’t do to press their extreme agenda on America’s women.”
In its letter to the state attorney general last week, the Planned Parenthood organizations said the website may violate California’s consumer protection laws and could lead women to provide confidential medical information online or delay getting care.
“These political dirty tricks are the latest in a long line of attacks on women's health, including a medical hoax so outrageous that we have asked the California attorney general to look into potential legal violations,” said Laguens. “Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s top priority is protecting women’s health. Fake medical websites and dirty tricks campaign tactics don’t help women get care and don’t help the public understand important issues at stake in this election.”
For almost a century, Planned Parenthood has been a trusted and reliable women’s health care provider and advocate. The Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational and electoral activity, including legislative advocacy, voter education, and grassroots organizing.