Calls Show Abortion Centers Hiding Statutory Rape, Skirting Law

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 2, 2011   |   11:23AM   |   Austin, TX

Yesterday, a pro-life group revealed new information about a months-long undercover investigation of several abortion businesses in Texas that were found to have illegally dumped patient records and medical waste. The probe also found abortion centers hiding cases of statutory rape and skirting parental involvement laws.

In one undercover conversation, a Spanish-speaking man called the Whole Women’s Health abortion clinic in McAllen, Texas and inquired about an abortion for his underage girlfriend. A staff member is recorded in Spanish telling him that his girlfriend needs a judicial bypass, and gives him detailed instructions on how to obtain one so her parents will not find out — even though she is under the age of consent in the state of Texas.

The court process for judicial bypass takes 2-3 days but, by the end of the call, the abortion center staff assures the male caller that she will not report him to anyone.

In another call, an investigator posing as a 15-year old girl spoke with a clinic employee named Melissa at Whole Women’s Health in San Antonio. The call reveals  the ease with which an underage girl who is a victim of statutory rape can get a judicial bypass for just about any reason.

Caller: …so, like it doesn’t matter if my boyfriend’s over 21 or anything?
Melissa: No
Caller: It’s confidential, you won’t report anything?
Melissa: Even if you get a judicial bypass, everything is confidential. We don’t release any of your information to anybody.

“Clinic worker Melissa had never seen a judge deny a judicial bypass,” the pro-life group Operation Rescue said about the call it conducted. “From this, it appears that judges are abusing the judicial bypass option and are not digging deep enough into what is really going on with underage girls in order to make a determination if she is being coerced or is covering up for an adult boyfriend. This idea of looking the other way and simply rubber-stamping abortions leaves minor girls in continued risk of sexual abuse and exploitation by older men – all to be kept secret from their parents, the people who likely care about the girls the most.”

Another undercover conversation recorded with a receptionist named “Lupa” at Franz Theard’s abortion center Hill Top Reproductive in El Paso, Texas, was also disturbing.

The caller posed as a 17-year old minor who wanted an abortion and the receptionist quickly scheduled an abortion for her for the following Saturday at 9:00 am and told her to bring and I.D. and $460. Then the abortion center staff helps the caller evade Texas law.

Caller: Can I get a note for the doctor? Um…
Lupa: Why?
Caller: For school?
Lupa: [Unintelligible]—school?
Caller: ‘Cuz I’m still in high school.
Lupa: How old are you?
Caller: Seventeen.
Lupa: If you’re 17, your parent needs to come with you.
Caller: Oh, uh, I don’t want the–
Lupa: Do they know you’re pregnant?
Caller: No. No.
Lupa: We have another clinic. It’s in Sunland Park in Santa Teresa–
Caller: Santa Theresa where?
Lupa: Uh-huh. There you don’t need an appointment and you don’t need your parents. You could go on Tuesday.
Caller: On Tuesday? Oh.
Lupa: Yes, and it will be at 1:30.
Caller: 1:30? With the same doctor?
Lupa: Yes, ma’am.
Caller: Okay. So on Tuesday, in Santa Teresa I can go–?
Lupa: –address?
Caller: I need the address.
Lupa: It’s 5290 McNutt Road.

Lupa then assures the caller that she will see Dr. Theard and that she does not need to tell her parents.

“Santa Teresa is a community across state lines from El Paso in New Mexico, where abortion laws are essentially non-existent,” Operation Rescue president Troy Newman says. “It has become obvious that Theard keeps this clinic open for the purpose of circumventing Texas abortion laws that require minors must have the consent of their parents before abortions can be done.”

“If encouraging a minor to cross state lines to evade the laws of her home state isn’t illegal, it ought to be,” said Newman. “Those laws were enacted to protect young girls and to protect the integrity of the family and parental rights. Theard is openly defying the intent of the Texas legislature and trampling the rights of parents while profiting off the vulnerability of their underage daughters. It’s really quite despicable.”

“From evidence found during this three-month investigation of a random sampling of twelve Texas abortion clinics it is clear that there is a widespread problem with abortion clinics failing to comply with state and federal law and with state and local health codes,” Newman continues. “Texas has many good laws that were enacted to protect women from abortion abuses. Unfortunately, there has been a gross lack of oversight and enforcement on the part of state authorities that has created an atmosphere where abortionists can openly flout the law with impunity and with no consequences.”

Operation Rescue is in the process of filing complaints with the Texas Medical Board against each abortionist involved in violations. A complaint has already been filed with the Texas State Department of Health and the group says an investigation is underway.The pro-life group is also slated to turn over all evidence of the crimes it cataloged to the Texas Attorney General’s office today after it holds a press conference at the state capital.

See the full report and listen to audio of the phone calls at