baby girlProgress in this country has seemed seriously stunted this year. All you need to do to draw that conclusion is look at the series of attacks on Planned Parenthood and women's reproductive rights -- in Congress nonetheless. Thankfully, it seems like in the past few weeks, arguments about birth control and chipping away at Roe v. Wade have died down a bit. Unfortunately, in turn, Planned Parenthood is nervous that the far right-wing may have taken matters into their own hands.

There have been several suspicious incidents at Planned Parenthoods across the country, which have given the organization reason to believe that anti-abortion activists are targeting them in a new undercover sting operation. Oh, boy, here we go again! Reportedly, the operation employs "hoax visits" by women asking really kooky, unnerving questions about the gender of their fetus ...

Over the past several weeks, according to Planned Parenthood spokesperson Chloe Cooney, clinics in at least 11 states have reported two dozen or more of these "hoax visits," in which a woman walks into a clinic, claims to be pregnant, and then asks about sex-selective abortions. Specifically, she may ask how soon she can find out the gender of the fetus, by what means, and whether she can schedule an abortion if she's having a girl. WOW, how utterly sick is that?

Cooney spoke with HuffPo about the scary trend. She said that although she can't talk about specific details about the visits and where they happened (due to patient privacy laws), the incidents are so out of the ordinary and similar to each other, the org's execs are recording the visits as a possible part of a concerted anti-Planned Parenthood campaign.

Considering the climate of this country in recent weeks and the heated debates and incendiary remarks made by various political figures, that guess doesn't sound too far off base at all. I really honestly wouldn't be surprised at all if anti-abortionists had organized these "hoax visits" in order to make Planned Parenthood look awful and "bring them down." It actually sounds suspiciously familiar. Remember last year, when they were targeted in that sex trafficking "hoax"? In fact, Planned Parenthood suspects that the group Live Action is behind the "sting." That group "has a history of paying actors to walk into Planned Parenthood clinics and act out various controversial scenarios in an attempt to catch the family planning provider's staffers doing something illegal or immoral on tape."

Seems to me that those who want to take down Planned Parenthood are willing to go to really ridiculous lengths to do so. Too bad for them that their tactics are pretty damn transparent.

What do you make of these "hoax visits"? Does it sound like Planned Parenthood is being targeted?