by Mary E. Jaminet
June 1, 2007
The grisly, appalling, and yet everyday activities of Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest supplier of abortion and birth control, are well known. Not only did this "non-profit" receive $272 million dollars of American taxpayer money in 2005, a figure that doesn't even include state and local funding of Planned Parenthood affiliates, but uses their clinics to kill innocent children in the womb, inflicting lasting emotional and sometimes physical harm on countless women. However, the organization is also earning a reputation for the shameless practice of covering up cases of statutory rape and child sexual abuse.
Just last month, several new cases came to light. Undercover UCLA journalism student Lila Rose posed as a pregnant minor and entered a Planned Parenthood clinic in Santa Monica, California with her "23-year-old boyfriend." She recorded the entire exchange with a clinic staffer who said she could lie about her birth year to avoid reporting a case of statutory rape. In Ohio, attorney Brian Hurley is representing two teens in separate lawsuits against a Planned Parenthood clinic in suburban Cincinnati. One teen was taken in for an abortion by her soccer coach, the alleged abuser; the other teen says she was a victim of incest, and that Planned Parenthood could have prevented another 18 months of sexual abuse if they had reported her father's actions to police.
Failure to report possible cases of statutory rape allows Planned Parenthood clinics to make more money through sales of abortions and birth control, and to circumvent parental notification and consent laws, even at the cost of the innocence and safety of children at the mercy of sexual predators. It is no wonder that Planned Parenthood opposes parental involvement laws, as well as laws which release anonymous records of underage abortions.
So, what's really going on here? When you cut through all the doublespeak of their mission to "help women," the actions of Planned Parenthood speak for themselves. The organization seems willing to make a profit at any cost, even from the desperation and emotional turmoil of minors facing crisis pregnancies.
It is far past time to heighten awareness of the nasty truth about Planned Parenthood, to increase attention to their deplorable "business" practices, and to promote investigations into these clinics. California and other states are leading the way in taking a fresh look at how statutory rape and child abuse laws might be improved and more readily enforced. In many states, statutory rape is not even defined as "child abuse," and therefore, failure to report such cases carries lighter penalties.
Let us work and pray for increased efforts to bring more of those who prey on and sexually abuse children to justice, and that abortion profiteers would face heftier consequences for protecting predators. Our nation should not be willing to tolerate the high cost of inflicting such pain and harm to children, both born and unborn.
Mary Jaminet is Special Project Coordinator at the Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.