A young woman is suing West Virginia health officials after she said they failed to protect her from her father’s sexual abuse.
The AP reports 21-year-old “Jane Doe” said her father raped and impregnated her when she was 11 years old, and her stepmother took her to have an abortion to cover up the abuse.
Doe, whose real name is not used for privacy reasons, said the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources failed to protect her when it removed her from foster care and placed her in her biological father’s home, according to the report.
Her lawsuit, filed Monday, points to evidence that the agency knew her father had a history of abuse when it placed her in his home in 2010 and, later, did nothing after receiving reports about him sexually abusing her.
Three months after she moved in with her father, she was pregnant with his child.
State workers left her in the house with her father for two years — removing her once only for a few months — after she revealed the pregnancy to a therapist and her father told police that there was “a chance” sex had happened between the pair, according to the lawsuit.
Doe said her stepmother took her to have an abortion to “destroy criminal evidence against the father,” and the agency knew about that as well, the AP reports. It is not clear from reports if the girl was pressured or forced into aborting her unborn baby.
Three years later, the father was charged with incest and arrested, but he accepted a plea deal of five years on probation in 2017, the report states.
Doe’s attorney said her client decided to come forward after living “under threats and intimidation for years.”
Health department officials said they plan to conduct an internal investigation as a result of the allegations.
Research shows strong links between abortion and abuse, and abortion facilities have been caught numerous times failing to report the suspected abuse of young girls to authorities. Studies of sex trafficking victims have found that victims frequently are pressured or forced to abort their unborn babies. And LifeNews has reported about many crime stories involving abortion and abuse.
As LifeNews previously reported, one study found that as many as 64 percent of post-abortive women say they felt pressure to have an abortion. Another study published in the journal PLOS Medicine found that about 25 percent of women who had abortions faced some sort of abuse before the procedure.