Prosecute Planned Parenthood for hiding possible child abuse, urges leading Alabama pro-life group
MOBILE, AL, August 31, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- Alabama's leading pro-life group is urging the state's Attorney General to prosecute Planned Parenthood for hiding child sex abuse -- the same day as the statute of limitations on the clinic's violations expires.
"Alabama Citizens for Life is urging our members to call upon Alabama's Attorney General Luther Strange to prosecute Planned Parenthood of Mobile for its failure to report repeated sexual abuse of a 14-year-old teenager," Bill Klein, president of Alabama Citizens for Life (ACL), told LifeSiteNews.
The 14-year old, who had abortions in April and August of last year, had two born children prior to the abortions. Clinic officials did not report the abortions, the abuse, or the girl to state officials, in violation of state parental consent and abuse reporting laws. In response, the state required Planned Parenthood to update its reporting procedures, the lowest of four possible responses from the state's Department of Public Health (DPH).
It's not just Planned Parenthood that is under the gun from ACL. The group's Board Director to the National Right to Life Committee accused DPH of protecting Planned Parenthood.
"This violation report was conveniently not posted on the DPH website until August 13, 2015," Cheryl Ciamarra told LifeSiteNews. However, the audit that found the violations was conducted on November 21, 2014 -- nine months earlier.
"[The] statute of limitations for prosecution is one year, leaving August 31, 2015 the deadline for prosecution, unless the date of public reporting of the sexual abuse can be used," said Ciamarra. Citing an Alabama attorney, she said that "failure to report statutory rape is a Class-A misdemeanor, which is why a one-year statute of limitations" is in place. "If it had been a Class-C felony, [the AG] would have had three years to prosecute."
Joy Patterson, a spokesperson for the Attorney General's office, told LifeSiteNews that 'the facts are under review.
A DPH official told LifeSiteNews on Monday morning said that "we have no intention of hiding any information," noting that Planned Parenthood is in the midst of suing DPH over a different situation.
However, another official had previously asked LifeSiteNews to frame its coverage of the violations and punishments in a way that would avoid opening the department to "a lot of attacks from the anti-abortion people."
That official said that a LifeSiteNews summary of the situation was "true," but it "would be much better" if LifeSiteNews framed its coverage favorably. It was subsequently clarified with this official that "essentially, your department was satisfied [Planned Parenthood] had acted in good faith, and not intentionally hid this information" from child protective services."
This official also told LifeSiteNews that Planned Parenthood had previously investigated the 14-year old's circumstances, and determined she was not being abused. However, the spokesperson LifeSiteNews spoke with on Monday said that there are no state requirements for what questions Planned Parenthood asked of the 14-year old to determine her four pregnancies were not due to abuse.