by Steven Ertelt
June 30, 2005
Cincinnati, OH (LifeNews.com) — A local prosecutor has announced that an Ohio Planned Parenthood abortion business will not be charged in connection with a secret abortion it performed on a 14-year old girl who was a victim of rape.
The girls’ parents filed a lawsuit against the abortion facility for violating the state’s parental notification law by not telling them of her abortion, which may have been coerced.
Deters’ staff determined that the girl provided an incorrect phone number to Planned Parenthood officials for notification. Instead of giving the abortion center her parents’ phone, she gave the number for her 21-year-old boyfriend.
"Apparently they made no effort to confirm to whom they were speaking when they placed their call to notify the parents," Deters told the Cincinnati Enquirer newspaper. "They did the minimum they could under the existing law."
Sue Momeyer, president of Planned Parenthood, told the paper she is glad her business has been cleared by Deters’ office.
There was no word at press time as to the status of the parents’ lawsuit.
The parents of the 14 year old girl say her boyfriend pressured her into having the abortion and they claim he posed as her stepbrother at the Planned Parenthood abortion business and paid for it.
They are also wondering why Planned Parenthood of the Southwest Ohio Region failed to contact police about the possible statutory rape.
Any sexual relations with a young teenager are considered rape under Ohio law if the perpetrator is 18 or older. Statutes in Ohio also require reporting any suspected cases of statutory rape to law enforcement.
The boyfriend was eventually prosecuted for statutory rape after officials received a tip from a friend of the girl. He is now serving three years in prison for the crime.
Deters said he has not found any records indicating the boyfriend accompanied the girl to the abortion facility. Still, he says the issue is whether Planned Parenthood should have reported the rape to authorities.
"Here’s the issue we’re looking at: Do you have a duty to report to law enforcement when you have a 13-year-old that is impregnated? Thirteen-year-olds can’t consent to sexual acts under Ohio law," Deters said.
Planned Parenthood lawyer Al Gerhardstein told the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper that there was no wrongdoing int he case. He called the investigation and the lawsuit a "smear tactic" by pro-life advocates to target the abortion business.
"I can tell you that Planned Parenthood is scrupulous about complying with the laws with respect to parental notice and reporting crimes," Gerhardstein said.
Thomas Condit, the attorney for the family, says the lawsuit was not filed to draw attention to the pro-life community.
"These people didn’t come to me as pro-lifers. They came to me as a family that was violated," Condit said.
According to the National Right to Life Committee, Ohio law requires abortion facilities to obtain the consent of at least one parents before performing an abortion on a minor. The law was upheld in a case involving another Cincinnati abortion business that sued to overturn it.
The Ohio Department of Health shows 274 abortions on girls under the age of 15 in 2003.