In 2010, a 13-year-old California girl underwent an abortion from Planned Parenthood after she became pregnant when her father, a man named Edgar Ramirez, repeatedly raped her. She told the workers at the clinic that she had gotten pregnant from a made-up boyfriend.
The age of consent in California is 18. It is illegal in the state to have sexual contact with a minor, unless a person is married to that minor.
Instead of going to the authorities, the report says, the victim was advised by a clinic employee to abstain from sex for three weeks after her abortion. Her father continued raping her, and she was pregnant again a few months later.
This time, according to the report, Planned Parenthood gave her an abortion as well as an IUD to prevent any additional pregnancies. Ramirez was eventually arrested after one of his other daughters reported her abuse to the police.
Testimony from former employees, including clinic managers, suggested an indifference to the legal requirement that the clinics report sexual abuse to authorities.
"We were all required to be mandatory reporters, but, if we saw a case – questionable abuse or even for sure, I mean, this kid is being abused – we really were discouraged from calling it in, just because they didn't want to have the trouble – the angry parent, the angry boyfriend, whatever it was," said Sue Thayer, a former Planned Parenthood manager from Storm Lake, Iowa. "So, more than once I was told, 'No, that is not reportable. You don't need to call it in.'"
Monica Cline, a former health educator who helped train employees at Planned Parenthood in the southwest, said that she believes the organization did not actually care about rescuing girls who were trafficked.
Cline said the employees had adopted a "don't ask, don't tell" policy where they would refrain from asking about the age of a young girl's sexual partner so that they would not have to report it.
"I went back to my office and I told my supervisor, listen, I'm trying to teach them about key concepts on Title X; they're admitting that they're not going to report cases of statutory rape," said Cline.
A 2014 study by Loyola University Chicago's Beazley Institute for Health and Law Policy found that aside from emergency rooms, Planned Parenthood locations were the most-visited facilities by trafficking victims. One trafficking victim interviewed for that report said that Planned Parenthood "didn't ask any questions" that would have revealed the abuse.
A video released with the report makes up the first part of a docuseries on the same subject. Additional videos in the docuseries will be released in the coming weeks.
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Christine Rousselle is a former DC Correspondent for Catholic News Agency. Prior to working at CNA, she was the managing web editor of Townhall.com; she has a BA in political science from Providence College.