Failing to report child abuse (again)

News of a second video showing a Planned Parenthood of Indiana counselor providing advice that could violate state criminal statutes was enough to prompt The Indianapolis Star to provide front-page coverage Wednesday. The second video, released Tuesday, shows an individual posing as a 13-year-old telling Planned Parenthood staffers that she was pregnant by her 31-year-old boyfriend.

Part of the reason this received more coverage than the first video was the fact that the incident happened a few miles from the Star‘s offices. Another factor is that it is becoming clear that criminal laws may have been broken and that a pattern appears to have developed of Planned Parenthood staffers looking the other way when an apparent crime of violence on a child has been committed:

The second video, shot at the clinic in the 8900 block of Georgetown Road, shows a Planned Parenthood counselor’s response when told the age of the man who impregnated the girl: “I don’t care how old he is,” the counselor said.

Indiana law requires anyone learning of sexual acts between an adult and a child younger than 14 to report them to police or child welfare authorities.

Planned Parenthood said in a statement Tuesday that its first priority was to patients, but it was committed to following all state laws. It said it was investigating the matter and had not established whether the second video had accurate content.

Overall, the Star‘s story is quite good and makes up a lot of ground that was lost in the days that have gone by since the story first made news about two weeks ago. While the Associated Press placed the fact that another Planned Parenthood staffer was suspended at the top, the Star article leads with the fact that lawmakers are requesting an investigation, but a few little details were missing that other news reports fortunately mentioned.

For example, a television news report on the matter notes that Planned Parenthood’s revenue from taxpayers is no small amount:

A state contracts database shows Planned Parenthood of Indiana currently has four or five state contracts valued at more than $3 million, the largest a two-year grant for family planning services.

The organization that has arranged these videos say both were shot on June 24 and maintain that they have been to Planned Parenthood clinics elsewhere in the country. Whether or not this story will gather any steam is yet to be seen, but some are predicting that the next year will be an interesting one for Planned Parenthood.

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  • MattK

    I don’t think anyone should be surprised by the failure to protect girls. I have heard Planned Parenthood people refer to girls as young as eleven as “women”. It is part of their strategy, I think, to keep parents uninvolved in the decision about abortion. Girls need permission. Women don’t.

  • Jerry

    This to me is more of a criminal case rather than a religious one. If laws were proven to have been violated, the laws should be enforced.

  • Dave

    The first video led to the firing of the clinic aide for violating the organization’s policies, said Betty Cockrum, president of Planned Parenthood of Indiana.

    Planned Parenthood issued a statement saying the representative in the second video had been suspended without pay while the footage was reviewed.

    It also said staff members had been retrained on reporting abuse.

    This, from the story, suggests that this is not PP policy and that the organization is behaving responsibly and lawfully.

  • dpulliam

    As a heads up, the Star had this article a couple of days ago:

    Planned Parenthood of Indiana leaders pledged Friday to reinforce their commitment to protecting minors after recently released videos showed employees at two Indiana clinics disregarding claims of child abuse.

    Health center employees at Planned Parenthood’s 35 clinics statewide have been retrained over the past two weeks in state requirements to report suspected child abuse, said Betty Cockrum, president and chief executive at Planned Parenthood of Indiana. The group also will work with a child-abuse prevention agency to provide additional training to staff.

    The employees shown in the videos no longer work for the agency. The Bloomington worker was fired a few days after being suspended, and the Indianapolis counselor resigned Thursday, Cockrum said.

    “We’re not going to let this go — this is a very serious situation,” said Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Kate Shepherd. “(Reporting) always has been taken seriously, but we want to make sure there’s no confusion.”

  • liz

    why should alcoholic mother’s have children and not listen to them when they want attention

  • liz

    how do I report this to the proper authorities without my details