Indiana Abortion-Sexual Abuse Investigation Goes to Court

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 19, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Indiana Abortion-Sexual Abuse Investigation Goes to Court Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 19
, 2005

Indianapolis, IN ( — An investigation by Indiana’s top attorney into whether young girls have been subject to statutory rape and had abortions without the rapes being reported to authorities had a court hearing on Monday.

Attorney General Steve Carter has asked the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit to help his office track down medical records of 40 girls who obtained abortions at Planned Parenthood abortion businesses.

However, Planned Parenthood is refusing to aid the investigation and has filed a lawsuit in state court’s seeking to block Carter’s access to the records.

The abortion business says releasing the information would violate the privacy of the patients and called the sexual abuse investigation a "fishing expedition."

Attorneys for both sides presented their arguments Monday in a Marion County courtroom.

"Children are best served by disclosure," an attorney for Carter told Marion Superior Court Judge Kenneth Johnson, according to an Indianapolis Star report.

Kenneth Falk, Planned Parenthood’s lawyer, said releasing the records for the abuse investigation would make child unwilling to seek services at Planned Parenthood.

"These are extraordinarily private records of extraordinarily sensitive persons," Falk said.

Though the lawsuit may prevent the release of Planned Parenthood’s records, Carter’s office has already obtain records of eight abortions at other state abortion facilities.

Indiana law stipulates that sexual relations with anyone under the age of 13 as child abuse, including cases where the partner is also a minor. State law requires anyone suspecting child abuse to report suspicions to authorities.

Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline is pursuing abortion records from two facilities in his state to prosecutor potential cases of statutory rape and illegal abortions. He is running into the same roadblocks from abortion advocates.

Kline told AP that the issues in Kansas and Indiana are similar.

"It is very common for prosecutors to seek medical records and to be concerned about predators preying on children," Kline said. "What is unusual is for doctors not to cooperate with child rape investigations."