A nationwide investigation by a pro-life group that found Planned Parenthood violating state laws protecting minors from sexual abuse is now being applied to a case in Alaska.
In a trial in Anchorage, Planned Parenthood is fighting a law that requires unmarried girls younger than 17 to get a parent’s or judge’s permission to have an abortion. The law has been on hold since 1997, pending outcome of the suit.
Testifying by phone in the state’s defense, Ed Zilenksi of Life Dynamics of Denton, Texas, told the court how his group conducted a phone sting that encompassed 800 Planned Parenthood and National Abortion Federation facilities nationwide.
WND reported last May that Life Dynamics researchers found “irrefutable evidence” that abortion-rights organizations such as Planned Parenthood and NAF “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 – 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.” The group said that in 91 percent of their calls the person they reached at the center agreed to conceal the statutory rape.
Life Dynamics founder Mark Crutcher told WND that he cannot talk about the details of the Alaska case, but there are others of its kind around the country related to the group’s investigation.
“It’s starting to get some traction, despite the fact that the [mainstream] media is refusing to cover it,” he said.
“When we get the thing out in front of the appropriate people, whether it’s prosecutors or police, they are outraged as any decent human being would be,” he said. “The problem is when you have this media conspiracy – a conspiracy of a common agenda, not that they are all getting together in once room – they are not going to say anything that will upset Planned Parenthood.”
Last May, WND asked Planned Parenthood’s national office for a response to the Life Dynamics investigation, but after a week of communication, a spokesperson finally said that there would be no statement.
‘It’s your business’
In three of the four calls to Alaska clinics recorded by Life Dynamics, the call takers apparently were not care providers. Life Dynamics called Planned Parenthood offices in Anchorage, Sitka and Soldotna, plus the Alaska Women’s Health Service in Anchorage, according to the Fairbanks News-Miner.
Alaska law requires health care practitioners, teachers, counselors and other professionals to report sex between a minor and an adult if it comes to their attention. The penalty is a misdemeanor.
An attorney for Planned Parenthood, Jane Crepps, said a receptionist at a clinic is not a “mandatory reporter.” However, a call taker at Planned Parenthood in Soldotna identified herself as a nurse practitioner and told the girl to lie about her boyfriend’s age:
Planned Parenthood of Alaska’s executive director, Anna Franks, said the nurse exercised bad judgment and has since been re-trained. Franks insists, however, that no crime was committed. Crepps said the organization’s policy is to obey whatever the law is in each state.
However, the transcripts admitted to the court Wednesday showed the clinic call takers at three of the four places were aware of the age difference but assured the girl that no one needed to know about it.
At Women’s Health Services in Anchorage, the call taker told the girl, “It’s your business,” after being assured that the girl and the man were in love. In Sitka, the call taker told the girl her boyfriend legally was “way out of bounds” and was “taking advantage of a minor,” but later in the conversation, the girl asked if “you’re sure that nobody has to know about my boyfriend?”
“I’m sure no one has to know about your boyfriend,” the Sitka call taker said. “That’s your choice.”
Planned Parenthood’s Franks maintained that if the Life Dynamics “girl” had been a real teen seeking help from a clinic, medical practitioners would have found out more about her situation and called the Division of Family & Youth Services if they suspected she was a victim of statutory rape, the News-Miner said.
The nurse practitioner in Soldotna told the girl, “It’s kind of an illegal thing for a boy who’s over 21 to have sex with a girl. … It’s called statutory rape.”
“Are you going to tell on him?” the girl asked.
“No, I won’t. But maybe when you go to the doctor you shouldn’t tell them how old your boyfriend is. … Just, you know, maybe have a girlfriend come with you and tell them your boyfriend is 16 or something, because he could get in a lot of trouble.”
Franks said, according to the Fairbanks paper, that “our employee in our Soldotna clinic gave a bad, inappropriate response.
“We’ve spent a lot of time retraining our staff so that everybody understands that we have a mandatory reporting law and we have our own protocol within to comply with the law,” she said.
A lawyer defending the state’s parent-consent law, Kevin Clarkson, said the Life Dynamic’s probe shows the abortion providers do not act in the best interest of a child who comes to them on her own.
“They say we don’t need parental-consent laws because these girls are in good hands,” Clarkson said.
Franks said in Planned Parenthood’s defense, “We really believe that statutory rape is wrong and we do want to prevent it. In our education programs, we try to teach teens to recognize good relationships and [that] there are older men who prey on young girls and that’s not an OK relationship.”
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