The New Jersey legal activist who suggested that Planned Parenthood might be liable at least for a criminal complaint under federal racketeering law expanded on his remarks today, indicating that Planned Parenthood was also liable for a civil complaint.
Nicholas E. Purpura explained to this Examiner that the Racketeer-Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act would in this case allow two classes of complaint:
- A criminal complaint, on the ground of aiding and abetting multiple federal felonies, and
- A civil complaint, on the ground that Planned Parenthood receives $360 million annually from the federal government, which makes the American taxpayer a victim of fraud.
Purpura explained further that in order to establish a “wheel conspiracy” (with the Planned Parenthood Federation of America as the hub and the individual clinics as the spokes), neither the authorities nor any other civil plaintiff would have to establish that the “spoke” personnel knew one another. All that would be necessary would be to show precisely the sort of activity that the incriminating footage from Live Action Films shows as having taken place at at least one facility in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, and four more in Richmond, Falls Church, Roanoke, and Charlottesville, Virginia.
Planned Parenthood fired the clinic manager at the Perth Amboy facility after the release of the initial video on February 1. But then Live Action Films released the second video based on their shoot at Richmond. Not long afterward they released raw footage from Richmond and the three other Virginia sites.
This flies in the face of Planned Parenthood’s earlier statement (reported here in the Asbury Park Press) that they knew that LiveAction Films had sent teams of videographers, posing as a prostitute and her procurer, into 12 of their facilities in other States and that no other clinic employees had offered advice similar to that which the fired employee had offered. That employee, identified as Amy Woodruff, LPN, had advised her two visitors on how to avoid awkward questions about sexually-transmitted-disease testing for minors, how to procure abortions for minors, and even how to “manage” an underage prostitute on a two-week post-abortion furlough. In fact, the Virginia footage plainly shows that Woodruff’s counterparts at four other facilities offered advice identical in character to the advice she gave.
According to Purpura, the evidence establishes:
- A pattern of activity, with
- Expressed malice, and
- Evil intent on a continuing basis.
Any two of these incidents, occurring within a ten-year period, would be sufficient to establish a pattern of activity by an enterprise. Indeed, LiveAction’s press-release page suggests that LiveAction has uncovered dozens of similar incidents in multiple States.
The New Jersey involvement has perhaps already had one adverse political consequence for Planned Parenthood: Governor Chris Christie vetoed yet another bill seeking to retore State aid to “family planning” clinics. Of course, Christie has fought this sort of veto war since long before Live Action released its videos, so he probably needed no urging to veto such funding yet again. Still, sources in the Attorney General’s office specifically credit the governor’s office with making them aware of the videos. The Attorney General has launched an investigation of Planned Parenthood’s facilities, and the New Jersey Department of Health has also launched an investigation of Metropolitan Medical Associates in Englewood, to whom Woodruff is shown in the footage referring the hypothetical sex workers for abortion services.
Purpura said that under RICO, anyone involved at any level in the unlawful activity would be legally liable. This would include Woodruff, her counterparts at the four Virginia facilities, and their respective superiors. He also suggested that Planned Parenthood might have run further afoul of federal law through its use of United States mails.
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