News of the Day ... in Perspective4/21/2005
Planned Parenthood accused of violating state laws
In Ohio, a man is serving a 3-year prison term for statutory rape after he, at age 21, impregnated a 13-year-old girl.
The girl’s parents have filed a lawsuit against Planned Parenthood for performing an abortion without the legally required parental notification. (The Ohio parental notification bill was upheld when another abortion facility sued to overturn it.) The parents also claim that their daughter may have been pressured to have the abortion by her boyfriend.
Additionally, the Hamilton County Prosecutor, Joe Deters, has launched an investigation into Planned Parenthood for its alleged failure to report a statutory rape.
Planned Parenthood lawyer Al Gerhardstein told the Cleveland Plain Dealer that the lawsuit and investigation were “smear tactics” by pro-life advocates (LifeNews.com 4/15/05).
In Kansas, Attorney General Phill Kline is investigating two abortion facilities that allegedly performed abortions on children who were apparently victims of statutory rape, without reporting the crimes. Abortion advocates claim that his request for records violates the patients’ rights to privacy. The attorney general responded that it is the clinics themselves that violate privacy, as by using patient information for political fund-raising and by informing the media about his confidential investigation (LifeNews.com 4/12/05).
The Ohio case is by no means the first in which a woman claims that an abortion involved coercion. According to a report by the Elliott Institute, an estimated 30 to 60 percent of women who undergo abortions report that they were pressured to do so. Some are subjected to violence or threat of violence.