A Nebraska judge harshly rebuked an Omaha woman Thursday for taking her 12-year-old daughter for an abortion and then returning her to the man who raped her, her step-father.
Omaha World Herald reports Douglas County District Judge Olon Engleman became emotional as he spoke to the woman, Shawna Fernando, 32, of Omaha, about her repeated failures to protect her young daughter. Engleman sentenced Fernando to 10 to 14 years in prison on child abuse charges.
“It (was) your job as a parent,” Engleman said. “And you failed her.”
Earlier this year, the judge also sentenced the step-father, Pedro Fernando-Flores, 33, of Omaha, to 60 to 80 years in prison after he was convicted on charges of sexually assaulting a child, according to the report.
A third party in the case that is not mentioned, the abortion facility, also may be at fault. Staff are required to report child abuse to authorities, and it is not clear from the report what abortion facility the girl was taken to or if its staff reported the abuse to authorities.
However, it appears likely that the abortion staff did not because Fernando took her daughter back to Fernando-Flores, who continued to sexually abuse the girl for at least two more years, according to the World Herald. Prosecutors said Fernando-Flores sexually abused the girl numerous times from age 11 to 14.
During the trial, Fernando’s attorneys said she was not aware that her daughter was being abused. When she took her daughter for an abortion at age 12, she said she thought a boy at school or church had impregnated her.
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However, the girl testified that her mother did know about the abuse, because she had told her that her step-father was the one who got her pregnant, according to the newspaper.
Here’s more from the report:
She testified about the day her mother took her to get an abortion. She was about six weeks pregnant when a doctor administered what’s known as a chemical or medicinal abortion — a series of pills that ends the pregnancy and antibiotics that protect against infection.
The mother then returned the girl to the house. As the girl’s body was going through the effects of the abortion, Fernando and Fernando-Flores left her at home while they went to church.
The girl now lives with a foster family who plans to adopt her, the report states.
“(The girl) has been through four years of hell that could have been avoided,” prosecutor Kati Kilcoin told the judge. “She’s strong, she’s courageous, she’s smart and she’s funny. She had to grow up way too fast, and she will have to battle demons every day for the rest of her life. But she is one of the most resilient individuals I have ever met.”
The abortion industry often aids in the covering up of sexual abuse. LifeNews and other pro-life groups have documented numerous cases in which abortion staffers ignored abuse that they should have reported to authorities. Some former abortion workers even said Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion chain, discourages reporting abuse to authorities.
Currently, Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita is investigating if an abortionist in the state failed to properly report the abuse of a 10-year-old rape victim to authorities earlier this year.