By Kathleen Gilbert

COLUMBUS, Ohio, July 1, 2009 ( – Parents suing a Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio clinic for failing to report statutory rape may not access other girls' medical records to see if they establish a pattern of neglect, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled today. 

The lawsuit involves a 14-year-old girl who, unbeknownst to her parents, aborted a child in 2004, conceived after having relations with her 21-year-old soccer coach.  Ohio state law requires that parents give consent for a minor's abortion, but the parents say only the coach signed off on the procedure. 

Attorneys Charles Miller and Brian Hurley had attempted to procure the medical records of other minor girls who received abortions at the clinic to establish whether the facility had routinely neglected to report statutory rape. 

The First District Court of Appeals in 2007 denied that the records should be handed over, even if the patients' identifying information were not included, saying that even so “it is arguable that disclosure would result in a privacy invasion.”  The court said such information would only be available to the attorneys had they filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of a group of parents against the clinic.

The Supreme Court at first declined to hear the appeal in January, but later reversed itself.

Hurley is also pursuing another case of abuse cover-up on behalf of a now-grown woman who says Planned Parenthood failed to report the routine sexual abuse committed against her by her father.  Under Ohio law, suspected sexual abuse must be reported to authorities; however, the anonymous Ohio woman says the abuse was allowed to continue for another 18 months because Planned Parenthood did not act on information she divulged.

An ongoing sting operation by the student group Live Action Films has recently added to the growing pile of evidence that Planned Parenthood facilities in several states across America routinely sidestep laws mandating the reporting of sexual abuse.

The group released a video this week showing a Planned Parenthood counselor telling a girl, who said she was 14 and impregnated by a 31-year-old, that the clinic “does sometimes bend the rules a little bit” rather than report sexual abuse to state authorities. 

To see a map of violations at Planned Parenthood clinics across America click here.

See related coverage:

Planned Parenthood Employee in Alabama Admits 'Bending the Rules' of Mandatory Reporting for Sexual Abuse

Woman Sues Planned Parenthood for Covering up Incest – Suffered Years of Abuse

Appeals Court Agrees to Conceal Planned Parenthood Records in Statutory Rape Case


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