by Steven Ertelt
June 2, 2005
Indianapolis, IN (LifeNews.com) — An Indiana judge on Wednesday turned back a second Planned Parenthood request from the abortion business to stall turning over records to the state attorney general who is looking into dozens of cases of potential statutory rape.
Marion Superior Court Judge Kenneth Johnson rejected the stay request, which would have halted Attorney General Steve Carter’s bid to obtain the records of 84 girls under the age of 14 who visited Planned Parenthoods throughout the state.
On Tuesday, Judge Johnson said the abortion business must comply and turn over the records to Carter’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit to help his office look into the possible rapes.
State law also requires anyone suspecting statutory rape to report it to authorities, and Carter wants to investigate why Planned Parenthood did not do that.
Carter spokeswoman Staci Schneider said one of the purposes of the investigation was to pursue neglect charges against Planned Parenthood for not reporting the possible rapes.
The abortion business maintains turning over the records is a violation of doctor-patient confidentiality and has appealed the judge’s decision to the Indiana Court of Appeals.
”We absolutely intend to uphold the privacy of our doctor-patient relationships,” Betty Cockrum, Indiana Planned Parenthood’s chief executive officer, told the Associated Press.
Johnson’s 22-page ruling rejected those arguments.
”The great public interest in the reporting, investigation and prosecution of child abuse trumps even the patient’s interest in privileged communication with her physicians because, in the end, both the patient and the state are benefited by the disclosure,” Johnson wrote.
Ken Falk of the Indiana Civil Liberties Union, is representing Indiana Planned Parenthood. He claims none of the 84 girls in question had abortions.
Falk said releasing the records for the abuse investigation would make children unwilling to seek services at Planned Parenthood.
Since Carter started looking into the potential problems, Planned Parenthood has instructed former clients not to turn over their own copies of medical records related to their visits to the abortion business.
Though the lawsuit may prevent the release of Planned Parenthood’s records, Carter’s office has already obtain records of eight abortions on underage girls at other state abortion facilities.
Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline is watching the state as he is involved in a similar dispute with abortion businesses there that are refusing to comply with his sexual abuse investigation.
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."