In the case now before Ohio’s high court, a 14-year-old girl, known in court records as “Jane Roe,” was sexually abused by her soccer coach, who then took her to Planned Parenthood for an abortion. Planned Parenthood did not report the abuse to authorities. Rather, it provided the girl with a secret abortion and a Depo-Provera shot, and her abuser began having sex with her again right away. Only months later did her parents learn of the abusive relationship. The man was convicted of seven counts of sexual battery and sentenced to prison.
Jane’s parents brought suit against Planned Parenthood, alleging a pattern of willfully violating both the state’s parental involvement and mandated reporting laws. As part of that suit, the parents sought discovery into the number of abortions on minors that the clinic had performed within the five years before Jane’s abortion. Through other records, the parents had discovered that during that same five-year period, Planned Parenthood had not filed a single report of suspected sexual abuse of a minor.
Planned Parenthood is fighting the request, arguing that even providing the number of abortions on minors would violate the minors’ privacy rights. The parents argue that Planned Parenthood is hiding behind the very minors whom it failed to protect.
“We see the same pattern being repeated all across the country,” says Grace Dulaney, a spokeswoman for Yes on 4. “Planned Parenthood estimates that, in California alone, more than 1500 abortions are performed each year on girls age 14 and under. We know that many of these young girls were impregnated by older men. We keep asking but we’re not getting any answers: where are the predators who have been prosecuted because an abortion provider turned them in?”
Two cases of clinics in California not reporting sexual abuse have come to light in recent months as a result of court rulings. One involved a Santa Clara County sexual predator who impregnated a 13-year-old girl, forced her to undergo a late-term abortion, then continued to molest her for another seven months until the child’s mother discovered the abuse and contacted police. The other, in San Bernardino County, involved a 24-year-old man who impregnated a 12- year-old girl and took her for an abortion. When the girl’s parents found out about the abortion four years later, they contacted the police, who arrested the predator. In neither case was the sexual abuse of the minor reported to law enforcement until after a family member found out what had happened.
“We know from these recent California cases what happens when parents find out that their daughter has been victimized: they call the police and turn the perpetrator in,” said Dulaney.
(The case before the Ohio Supreme Court is Case No. 2007-1832, ‘John and June Roe, individually and as parents of Jane Roe, a minor, vs. Planned Parenthood, Southwest Ohio Region, et al.”)
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