ADF: Planned Parenthood should surrender records after not reporting rape
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Alliance Defense Fund on behalf of 27 pro-family organizations filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the Ohio Supreme Court Monday in a case involving Planned Parenthood staff who failed to report the statutory rape of a 14-year-old girl abused by her school’s soccer coach. The coach, age 21, brought the girl to the Planned Parenthood clinic in Cincinnati to have an abortion after discovering he had impregnated her.
The high court is being asked to reverse an appellate court decision keeping the minor and her parents, represented by ADF-allied attorney Brian Hurley, from accessing Planned Parenthood records that may show a systematic cover-up of statutory rape and other sexual abuse.
“The health and safety of young girls trumps Planned Parenthood’s desire for secrecy,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Jeff Shafer. “Ohio law mandates that Planned Parenthood report the sexual abuse of minors, and evidence that may reveal the organization’s violation of that legal obligation may not be hidden.”
The parents of the minor girl brought suit on their daughter’s behalf when they discovered that Planned Parenthood allowed their daughter to undergo an abortion at the behest of the girl’s soccer coach without notifying civil authorities, which is required in cases of statutory rape. Neither Planned Parenthood nor the soccer coach notified the parents of the abortion or the sexual relationship. The lawsuit seeks to gather Planned Parenthood records that may demonstrate a systematic pattern of such unlawful cover-up.
“Planned Parenthood is not above the law,” said ADF-allied attorney David Langdon, who co-wrote the friend-of-the-court brief. “Planned Parenthood is attempting to hide behind inapplicable physician-patient privilege in an apparent effort to protect itself.”
After filing suit, a trial judge ordered Planned Parenthood to release certain records to the young girl’s parents. Planned Parenthood appealed the decision, and an Ohio appellate court ruled Planned Parenthood was not required to release its records. The case is now on appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court.
ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith. Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.