Two faces of child abuse: Toogood and too bad

By Jane Chastain

Last Saturday, the country applauded as Madelyn Toogood turned herself in to authorities after being caught on videotape abusing her 4-year-old daughter in the parking lot of an Indiana department store.

Authorities already had arrested Toogood’s sister, Margaret Daley, who was with her at the time of the incident. Daley was charged for failure to report the physical abuse of a child.

In every case of child abuse brought to the attention of the public, we have reserved our strongest consternation for those who were aware of these crimes and did nothing. Most Americans think it is an outrage that Cardinal Law retained his lofty position in the Catholic Church and pleased that Kathleen Kearney, the secretary of Florida’s Children and Families – the agency that lost over 500 kids – was relieved of her duties.

However, there is one case of child abuse that has not received the attention it deserves. In fact, it is so rampant, it could be described as an epidemic. It is the sexual exploitation of underage girls by adult males. The worst part of all, it appears that some very high-placed individuals, who run a multimillion dollar organization on the receiving end of our tax dollars may be involved in the cover-up. This is bad – too bad.

If a 13-year-old girl is brought into a hospital with cuts and bruises, and those who attend her have any doubts as to how she got those cuts and bruises, this is reported to authorities. However, if the same 13-year-old shows up at a tax-supported clinic with a venereal disease or is pregnant, the staff, more often than not, simply looks the other way, even though studies have shown that between 60 to 80 percent of girls 15 and younger who get pregnant, are impregnated by adults. That is statutory rape!

This is a shameful disgrace! Young boys who are sexually abused carry around emotional scars from that abuse, but often it is difficult to detect. However, young girls often carry around the physical evidence, but it is concealed from authorities.

In May, Life Dynamics of Denton, Texas, released the shocking results of a nine-month survey done with 800 federally-funded Planned Parenthood and National Abortion Federation clinics nationwide, which indicates that 91 percent of these facilities were willing to cover up these crimes. Life Dynamics had a young woman telephoning the clinics, posing as a 13-year-old girl, who said she was impregnated by a 22-year-old boyfriend. She told each clinic worker that she wanted an abortion and didn’t want her parents to know. Some of these clinic workers even acknowledged that this was illegal and they were required to report it, but coached the caller on what to say on the day of her appointment to avoid detection.

In 1998, former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders – no prude by anyone’s standards – co-authored a review of existing studies on this type of abuse, “Adolescent Pregnancy and Sexual Abuse,” which was published by the Journal of the American Medical Association. Among the findings was this startling statistic: Over half of all infants born to women 18 years and younger were fathered by adult men. Also, the research revealed that the younger the girl, the greater the partner’s age gap.

On Aug. 2, in California, the U.S. Justice Foundation filed a lawsuit in Riverside County alleging that Planned Parenthood does not comply with the law in reporting these cases of suspected child abuse.

On Sept. 5, the California State Medical Board requested that the state’s attorney general issue a formal legal opinion as to whether the so-called “right of privacy” exempts Planned Parenthood from this requirement. This is outrageous! If the state exempts Planned Parenthood, then all the perverts in the country will pack their bags and head west knowing that, in California, they can have their victims treated and aborted as needed and their crimes will be concealed.

Yes, Planned Parenthood, like Madelyn Toogood, was caught on tape. But unlike Ms. Toogood, Planned Parenthood has shown no remorse. Far from it! Jim McElroy, a California attorney representing Planned Parenthood of Riverside has charged that the lawyers who filed suit against his client are “anti-abortion zealots.”

What if Madelyn Toogood had tried to excuse her behavior by saying that those pursuing her were anti-spanking zealots? If Toogood is found guilty, she could get three years in jail. What are we going to do about those who run Planned Parenthood?

It would be a very simple matter for Planned Parenthood to refute the Life Dynamics Survey. Just provide proof that it has turned over to authorities the addresses and phone numbers of every underage client it serves.

I’m waiting.