News of the Day ... In Perspective05/22/2006
Kansas Attorney General appeals ruling on sexual abuse reporting
According to a ruling by U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten, Kansas abortion facilities are exempt from a state law mandating that sexual abuse of minors be reported to state officials. Abortion businesses contend that they should have the latitude to determine whether statutory rape constitutes abuse.
Kansas Attorney General Phil Kline is appealing to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. In 2004, this Court lifted an injunction imposed by Judge Marten, stating that he needed more evidence on which to base his ruling.
Both sides agree that incest, sexual abuse of a child by an adult, and sex involving a child under age 12 should always be reported. They differ on whether consensual underage sexual activity needs to be reported. The age of consent in Kansas is 16.
Kline believes that pregnancy in a girl under the age of 16 is evidence that sexual abuse—statutory rape—has occurred. He also believes the Kansas law prohibits any intimate activity, such as fondling, with underage persons.
Additionally, Kline is seeking evidence that abortion facilities violate other laws, such as one prohibiting abortions after 22 weeks without a viability test or a medical health reason.
Abortion facilities are refusing to turn over records involving 90 women and girls. Attorney Simon Heller, who represents the abortion businesses, said that Marten’s decision could reach outside Kansas: “This is the first time that a federal court has recognized that the United States Constitution protects the right of young people to keep certain information they give their doctors and psychologists private.” (Steven Ertelt, LifeNews.com 5/17/06; Ron Sylvester The Wichita Eagle, Kansas.com, posted 4/19/06).