Skip to comments.Connecticut Abortion Clinics Look The Other Way
Posted on 05/23/2002 11:07:58 AM PDT by toenail
We were all stunned last month to learn a 10-year-old Bridgeport girl had been impregnated by a much older man. In Willimantic and Hartford, similar calls clinic workers promise to keep the statutory rape relationship secret, and they seem to prompt the girl to fudge the truth, if not outright lie. We played some of the tapes for, Jeanne Milstein, Connecticuts child advocate, "Clearly there are some very disturbing issues that are raised," said Milstein. Regardless of who conducted these calls or their agenda, she says, these tapes are troubling, "Never, ever tell a child to lie. That's, that's just scandalous," said Milstein. "Planned Parenthood questions the reliability of staged tapes of supposed telephone conversations surreptitiously prepared by life dynamics, an organization with a notorious anti-planned parenthood agenda. The brief Planned Parenthood statement also says their "Policy and practice is to comply conscientiously and fully with the state's child welfare reporting obligations." Chief state's attorney Jack Bailey believes Planned Parenthood might need a refresher course. "They should give us a call and we would go over the law with them, because they're in violation of the law right now," said Bailey.
Adding to the shock, two doctors, who knew about the pregnancy, failed to report it, as state law requires. They've been arrested and now face charges and tonight we have the troubling results of an undercover test to determine how Connecticut abortion clinics would deal with underage pregnancy and statutory rape.
"Im going to be 14 later on this month..." It's a call that should raise red flags, "I was calling to see if you guys do abortions?"
A 13-year-old child pregnant by an older man and in the eyes of the law, that's child abuse, sexual assault in the second degree, statutory rape.
"My boyfriend is 22."
"Everything is confidential, no matter how old you are." Or is it? The doctors, nurses and social workers at abortion clinics are among the state's mandated child abuse reporters.
Mark Crutcher has a definite interest and agenda. He heads up "life dynamics," a pro-life group in Dallas. Earlier this year, he says, they taped telephone calls to more than 800 abortion clinics and family planning centers across the country. "What we found was these organizations are more than willing to cover up the statutory rape of one of these girls for their own political and financial interest," said Crutcher.
Among the calls: 19 to Connecticut facilities. In Texas, unlike Connecticut, you can tape a call even if the other party doesn't know. Life dynamics created a scenario, in which a person claiming to be a 13-year-old girl said she had become pregnant by a boyfriend in his 20's, but wanted no one to find out.
Bridgeport Planned Parenthood: "If you're 14, and he's 22, that's illegal."
Girl: "well, what do you mean, what could happen?"
Bridgeport Planned Parenthood: "nothing, if you don't want to press charges, it's just, it's not legal."
Some centers around the country, and in Connecticut, tried to get the girl's name so they could report the abuse. But the group says in 91-percent of their calls, the people on the phone agreed to conceal the statutory rape. This call came to the Planned Parenthood center in Norwich.
Girl: "It's just we don't want a whole lot of people to know about us. Would he have to sign anything?"
Norwich Planned Parenthood: "yeah, but I just...don't, don't talk about his age."
Planned Parenthood has centers across the state, but performs abortions only in West Hartford, New Haven, Stamford, and Norwich. On one call, an employee in New London coaches the caller on what "not" to say when calling Norwich for the abortion appointment.
New London Planned Parenthood: "When you go to Norwich, you're going to want to give them a call. Don't tell them that information."
Girl: "then it will be okay?"
Planned Parenthood: "If you do not say the age of your partner."
Planned Parenthood: "Okay, otherwise there's going to be a lot of stuff going on that you're probably not going to want to have happen."
Girl: "They won't ask anything about him?"
Willimantic Planned Parenthood: "Im not going to...Im going to pretend I didn't hear that, okay?"
Planned Parenthood: "don't even bring that up, okay."
Girl: "even if he's taking me there?"
Planned Parenthood: "no, no, don't even go there, don't even bring it up."
So what does Planned Parenthood have to say about all this? Not much. As we did with the child advocate, we wanted to play the tapes for them and get their reaction, but they refused unless they could hear them first. We agreed to play the tapes over the phone for them, but still they refused an on-camera interview. Instead, they issued this short statement."
We wanted to be sure of their authenticity, too. So we made some calls to Connecticut Planned Parenthood centers and we asked for the names we heard. Some were not overly common names, like Heidi and Glenda. We found they indeed worked there.
Also, the tones placing the calls on the tape match the Planned Parenthood phone numbers. We can only guess, but we suspect if Planned Parenthood had talked with us, they might have argued it's a delicate balance between reporting and not turning kids away from counseling. They might also take issue with Life Dynamics' claim that the receptionists mandated reporters. "That person who answers the phone, the counselor who is on the phone, making an appointment for this girl, is an agent of that facility, and they are mandated reporters," said Crutcher.
Maybe, maybe not. The law does say it's the doctor, nurse or social worker who's the mandated reporter, not the clinic as a whole. But some of the calls clearly indicate those who answered the phones were well aware of the obligation to report and show an attempt to un-do that knowledge.
West Hartford Planned Parenthood: "you just gave me more information than what I needed, okay."
Planned Parenthood: "which was not a good thing, okay. The fact that your boyfriend is 22 and the fact you're fourteen, that makes us mandated, we're mandated reporters. That means we have to report that."
"Girl: "so if you didn't know, it would be okay?"
Planned Parenthood: "it's not that it's okay, it's just what we don't know, we don't know."
Not necessarily, say state prosecutors, who also listened to the tapes.
Assistant state's attorney Steve Sedensky says the big issue surrounding mandated reporting here is the age of the girl, not the father. "I think, certainly in spirit, they're skirting the law," said Sedensky. "The very fact that a 13-year-old is pregnant is an indication that she's falls under the definition of abuse, regardless of how old she says the perpetrator is," explained Sedensky.
As for pro-life activist Mark Crutcher, he says his organization might file lawsuits all over the country, "Haul them into court and put them in jail. That's exactly where people who protect pedophiles ought to be and that's true whether it's a bishop or a cardinal or a priest, or a counselor at Planned Parenthood," said Crutcher.
We were all stunned last month to learn a 10-year-old Bridgeport girl had been impregnated by a much older man.
In Willimantic and Hartford, similar calls clinic workers promise to keep the statutory rape relationship secret, and they seem to prompt the girl to fudge the truth, if not outright lie.
We played some of the tapes for, Jeanne Milstein, Connecticuts child advocate, "Clearly there are some very disturbing issues that are raised," said Milstein. Regardless of who conducted these calls or their agenda, she says, these tapes are troubling, "Never, ever tell a child to lie. That's, that's just scandalous," said Milstein.
"Planned Parenthood questions the reliability of staged tapes of supposed telephone conversations surreptitiously prepared by life dynamics, an organization with a notorious anti-planned parenthood agenda.
The brief Planned Parenthood statement also says their "Policy and practice is to comply conscientiously and fully with the state's child welfare reporting obligations."
Chief state's attorney Jack Bailey believes Planned Parenthood might need a refresher course. "They should give us a call and we would go over the law with them, because they're in violation of the law right now," said Bailey.
Copyright © 2002, WTIC-TV, Hartford
Either way, we call them "potential witnesses."
Sure we do, just, um, bring cash, and, um, go to the back door.
Yea, you pro-abort morons - it's NOT about choice at all, it's all about THE MONEY!!
And if you find me in forum, there are a few other relevant posts. Thanks.
Yes, and more.
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Bump for this wonderful man. It's good to hear about SOMEONE who cares for these kids, and attempts to expose PP for what they really are.
You'd think that "conservatives" here at FR would be more interested, wouldn't you? This is no conservative activist site; it's a Republican cheerleading site. This could virtually knock Planned Parenthood out of the water, but nobody here seems to care. What a shame. What a goddamned shame.