Multiple Planned Parenthood and National Abortion Federation clinics across the country including five in Alaska were targeted as part of a nationwide phone survey that revealed clinic staff encouraging a caller who said she was a 13-year-old girl to cover up statutory rape and child sexual abuse.
The audio recordings of those March 2002 calls were released earlier this month online.
The landmark survey by Life Dynamics was a precursor to and inspiration for the more recent undercover videos by pro-life group Live Action Films, which has drawn into question whether Planned Parenthood should continue receiving hundreds of millions in annual federal taxpayer dollars.
CIRCUMVENTING THE LAW
In each case, the caller identified herself as a 13-year-old girl who was pregnant by a 22-year-old man and wanting an abortion in order to conceal this sexual relationship from her parents and the authorities.
“[T]he caller never said anything to suggest that her parents would become violent or abusive if they discovered her sexual activity,” Life Dynamics explained. “It was always made clear that the motivation for the abortion was to conceal this sexual activity.”
However, in the vast majority of calls, including to the clinics in Alaska, there was no indication that authorities were going to be contacted about the possibility of statutory rape.
AVOIDING PARENTAL NOTIFICATION
Life Dynamics also reveal a trend in how Planned Parenthood deals with parental notification laws, such as the one Alaska voters passed last year, which legally require an abortion provider to notify the parent of a minor girl before performing an abortion on her.
“In states with parental involvement legislation in place, abortion proponents always justify the need for a judicial bypass option in order to address the so-called ‘hard cases’ in which minors will be abused if forced to inform their parents about their pregnancies,” Life Dynamics states.
This is not how judicial bypass is used in practice, Life Dynamics maintains.
“Instead, it is being automatically suggested to any underage girl who simply doesn’t want to tell her parents for any reason whatsoever or for no reason whatsoever.”
In other cases, the caller was advised to lie or conceal the age of her boyfriend during the judicial bypass hearing.
A NATIONAL TREND
Life Dynamics notes that “When we began releasing this information to the public, some of our opponents said that all we uncovered was a few rogue employees who were operating outside of Planned Parenthood or National Abortion Federation guidelines.”
These accusations came in spite of the fact that the survey called every Planned Parenthood and National Abortion Federation facility in the country.
“Under those circumstances, it is preposterous to suggest that when 90 percent do one thing and 10 percent do the opposite, it is the 90 percent who are in violation of the organization’s accepted and normal standards of behavior,” Life Dynamics stated.
ALASKA CLINICS EXPOSED
In recorded conversations with staff from Alaska clinics, the caller was told by clinic staff to lie about the age of her boyfriend and then assured that law enforcement would not be notified of possible statutory rape.
At the Planned Parenthood clinic in Anchorage, the caller identified herself as a 13-year-old girl and was assured that her parents would not need to be notified of her abortion.
At the time of the call there were no parental notification laws in Alaska, but state law did require reporting of suspicions of statutory rape.
But clinic staff told the caller that her 22 year old boyfriend would be able to pay for her abortion and pick up cheap birth control pills for her that would only cost $1 a month. Again, no parents would be notified.
At the Planned Parenthood-affiliated Sitka Health Center, the clinic worker acknowledged that the caller’s boyfriend was “taking advantage of a minor,” but quickly offered assurance that “we don’t tell parents, at least at Planned Parenthood.”
At the offices of Dr. Michael Merrick in Kenai, the caller was again told that her parents would not be notified before the abortion. However, the clinic worker did advise the caller that her boyfriend could be in trouble with the law if authorities found out they were having sex.
“I believe it would be statutory rape,” the staffer admitted.
At Alaska Women’s Health Services in Anchorage, the caller was told that there was no parental consent needed for abortions and that “nobody has to know but you.”
After revealing that her boyfriend was 22, the caller was then told that she could still get an abortion and birth control without notifying her parents.
“We don’t have to tell anybody. It’s your body,” the staffer responded.
In Soldotna, the Planned Parenthood worker acknowledged that a man older than 21 having sexual intercourse with a minor is in fact “statutory rape.”
“It’s kind of an illegal thing for a boy who’s over 21 to have sex with a girl,” the Planned Parenthood staffer said.
The caller was then encouraged to lie to the doctor when she came in for an appointment. “Just, you know, maybe have a girlfriend come with you and tell them your boyfriend is 16 or something because he could get in a lot of trouble.”
To listen to the complete recordings from the five Alaska clinics go to childpredators.com.
LifeNews.com Note: Joel Davidson is the editor of the Catholic Anchor, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Anchorage, Alaska. This article originally appeared there and is reprinted with permission.