Bill dubbed ‘Pedophile Protection Act’

By WND Staff

A bill dubbed by critics as the “Pedophile Protection Act” is on the desk of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger after passing both chambers of the California Legislature.

Authored by lesbian state Sen. Sheila Kuehl, the bill drastically reduces requirements for mandatory reporting of the known or suspected sexual, physical and emotional abuse of children.

Richard D. Ackerman, vice-president of legal affairs for the Pro-Family Law Center, and a survivor of severe physical and sexual abuse, calls the bill a “reprehensible act.”

“The one common denominator among civilized persons is the ability to rally around the protection of our children,” he said in a statement. “Even one case of unreported abuse has the potential to begin a generational cycle of continuing abuse, and could even result in the death of a child.”

Ackerman asserts the bill “appears to be the work of abortionists and others who ply in the trade of promoting sex among children.”

Under existing criminal law, anyone who regularly comes into contact with children is required to report an instance in which there is reason to believe a child has been molested or abused, Ackerman points out.

Typical mandatory reporters include pastors, priests, church volunteers, teachers, school volunteers, and medical personnel.

But the bill, SB1313, would eliminate mandatory reporting for anyone who can be characterized as a “volunteer.”

That means a Sunday school teacher, for example, would not be required to report her knowledge of a pastor’s molestation of children.

Critics say the bill also eliminates mandatory reporting in cases where children are having sex with each other, and severe emotional abuse may no longer be a reportable event at all.

Ackerman, while working for the United States Justice Foundation, persuaded the California Attorney General’s office to issue a written opinion to the California Medical Board that affirmed the requirement of reporting for anyone who comes into regular contact with children as part of professional duties.

The report, following a petition by more than 10,000 people, presented evidence that Planned Parenthood had seen over 30,000 children in California, but not one instance of reporting to law enforcement could be found.

State-required demographic data provided by Planned Parenthood to California demonstrated that the volunteers and paid staff of Planned Parenthood had seen children ages 6 and under for sexually transmitted disease treatment.

Ackerman says SB1313 seeks to make unavailable any reports of abuse, even if the reports are redacted.

Ackerman, urging “all persons of good conscience” to write to Gov. Schwarzennegger, said, “If even one child is abused or dies because of the failure to report by a clinic, church or school, that child’s blood is on the hands of Sheila Kuehl and the people who sneaked behind the media”s back to get this sickly legislation passed.”