Planned Parenthood was negligent in its failure to report a 13-year-old foster-care girl’s abortion to Child Protective Services, a Phoenix judge ruled.
Pro-lifers tout the case as an example of the importance of parental consent laws, the Associated Press reported. A law enacted in 2000 requires girls under 18 in Arizona to get permission of a parent or guardian for an abortion unless they seek court approval.
The Phoenix case began in 1998 when the girl, whose name has been withheld by AP, had an abortion at a Planned Parenthood clinic accompanied by her 23-year-old foster brother, with whom she was having a sexual relationship.
Court records show that Planned Parenthood did not notify authorities until the girl returned six months later for a second abortion.
The case supports the findings of an in-depth probe of Planned Parenthood by a pro-life group earlier this year.
WorldNetDaily reported May 21 that researchers with Denton, Texas-based Life Dynamics, Inc. found “irrefutable evidence” that abortion-rights organizations such as Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Federation “knowingly conceal” the crimes of sexual abuse of minors “while aiding and abetting the sexual predators who commit them.”
A Life Dynamics researcher – portraying a 13-year-old girl made pregnant by a 22-year-old boyfriend – called 800 Planned Parenthood and NAF facilities nationwide. The caller told the clinics that she wanted an abortion “because she and her boyfriend did not want her parents to find out about the sexual relationship,” an eight-page summary of the report stated.
Among the findings, according to the summary, was that many clinic workers acknowledged the girl’s situation was illegal and that they were required by law to report it, but an “overwhelming majority readily agreed” to keep secret the illegal sexual contact.
According to lawsuits filed on behalf of the Phoenix-area teen, the abortion provider’s failure to notify police or the CPS of her first abortion, Nov. 10, 1998, resulted in continued molestation and sexual exploitation, AP said. Planned Parenthood’s gross negligence led to her second abortion six month’s later, the girl’s attorney argued.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Cathy Holt ruled last month that the abortion provider was negligent in failing to notify authorities when the girl first came in, said AP.
Medical providers must report all cases of suspected sexual abuse or sexual conduct with a minor, according to state law, except in cases in which two minors 14 or older have consensual sex.
Planned Parenthood would not discuss the case, citing continued litigation, but Arizona Right to Life attorney and President John Jakubczyk, who represented the girl’s natural mother, called it “a real tragedy.”
Planned Parenthood “knew what was going on,” said Jakubczyk, according to AP. “It’s heartbreaking, and none of it had to happen.”
Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Beth Meyer-Lohse said last year the organization notified authorities of five to 10 cases of suspected sexual abuse every month, but she would not say whether those numbers have since changed.
The girl was immature for her age and is emotionally scarred by the relationship with her 23-year-old foster brother, according to a psychological analysis performed in July.
In court papers, Planned Parenthood defended not reporting the abortion because “it does not follow that the negligence caused damages,” and “no reporting would have been required if she had been eight months older.”
In May, Planned Parenthood refused to give WND a response to Life Dynamics’ claim, based on its investigation, that the abortion provider conceals the sexual abuse of minors.
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