Planned Parenthood Gives ILLEGAL Abortion, and Faces Lawsuit
By Luke E. Saladin
Post staff reporter
Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said on Thursday that his office was investigating whether Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio illegally granted an abortion to a 14-year-old girl without her parents' consent.
In a civil suit filed in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court on March 29, the unnamed parents say that the abortion would not have taken place if the organization had followed its statutory duties and sought consent from the parents for the abortion.
Deters said his office is considering filing civil charges as well. At a minimum, his office would likely file additional felony charges against the 21-year-old man who impregnated her because such a sexual act would have constituted rape under Ohio laws.
In Ohio, any sex by a person under the age of 16 can be considered rape if the perpetrator is over 18. If the victim is under 13 it is automatically rape.
"If a 13-year-old in Ohio is pregnant, a crime has been committed," Deters said. "You can rest assured that this individual is going to face some additional criminal charges."
What isn't known is to what extent liability will fall on Planned Parenthood. Sue Momeyer, president of the Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio region, declined comment Thursday.
She has stated in the past, however, that her agency's policies adhere to Ohio statutes.
According to the civil suit, the girl was 13 when the 21-year-old man impregnated her in December 2003 or January 2004. The man is now serving a prison sentence after he was convicted of sexual battery for having sex with the girl.
All parties in the suit - now under seal - were referred to with a pseudonym to protect their privacy. According to the suit, the man called Planned Parenthood and attempted to arrange an appointment for the girl in March 2004, but the office instructed him that only the girl could make the appointment.
The suit said the man directed her to call and arrange for the abortion the next day.
He drove the girl - who had turned 14 by that time - to the agency's Mount Auburn facility March 30 for the abortion even though the girl "did not want to have the abortion."
Because the man told Planned Parenthood workers he was her stepbrother, the agency didn't contact her parents - even though she gave her father's name and address to the agency, the suit noted.
Performing the abortion without notifying or getting permission from her parents is illegal, the suit says.
The suit seeks unspecified monetary damages in excess of $25,000.
Deters said his office hasn't yet spoken with Planned Parenthood or its workers but intends to do so. He said the office would also investigate whether other similar cases were not reported to police.
"We are proceeding as rapidly as possible and we intend to aggressively research this case," Deters said.