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"Did Not Rise To The Level Of A Crime"

I wash my hands of this crime
(Source)

Note: What follows is a harsh text on abortion. If you are pro-choice, please first see "A reading list for pro-choicers".

Here's an edifying story I meant to comment on earlier. You probably didn't catch it on CNN. A southern Ohio prosecutor announced -- with obvious regret -- that he is unable to bring charges against Planned Parenthood for aborting the child of a 14-year-old without the knowledge or consent of her parents.

Joe Deters, Hamilton County Prosecutor, announced today [June 29] that no criminal charges will be filed against Planned Parenthood over an abortion they performed on a 14 year old girl on March 30, 2004. According to a lawsuit filed by the girl's parents in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court earlier this year, the abortion was performed without their consent or notice as required by state law. This prompted an investigation by the Prosecutor's Office.

According to Mr. Deters, although he is troubled by the allegations in the lawsuit, the conduct by Planned Parenthood did not rise to the level of a crime. "Unfortunately, under current state law in effect in Ohio, it is easier for a 14 year old girl to get an abortion than to skip school or buy a pack of cigarettes."

The girl involved went to Planned Parenthood and provided the phone number of the father of her unborn child to them when they requested her parent's phone number. It was that number Planned Parenthood called in order to comply with the parental notification requirement of the law. "You would think the first thing Planned Parenthood would suspect is that a 14 year old girl who shows up without her parents for an abortion would not provide her parents real phone number. Apparently they made no effort to confirm who they spoke with when they placed their call to notify the parents. They called the man who impregnated her, not her parents. They did the minimum they could under existing law."

The father of the unborn child, John Haller, was indicted May 6, 2004 on 7 counts of sexual battery and was found guilty on all counts September 1, 2004. He is currently serving a three year sentence at Lucasville and has been declared a sexual oriented offender.

So "notification" means no more than hearing a plausibly adult voice on the other end of a phone conversation -- and that in the case of a girl who couldn't get admitted to see The Passion unless accompanied by a parent (it's rated "Restricted", you see).

Setting aside the legal requirements, you have to wonder what other species of "health care providers" would perform any surgical procedure on a 14-year-old walk-in patient without asking her some serious questions and taking extraordinary measures to be sure her parents were at least apprised of the situation. On an ordinary level of human concern it's difficult to fathom how someone could put into a jittery girl's hands a decision with such momentous consequences, indifferent to the presence or absence of resources to deal with the aftermath. Even if the "providers" don't believe they're making her an accomplice in homicide, they can hardly know what the girl believes -- or will believe, once the reality sinks in. (Many women who've been there sadly testify: abortion doesn't make you "unpregnant." It makes you the mother of a dead baby.) Is there any other agency that would load, chamber, and cock a lethal weapon and hand it to a frightened freshman? "Well, if you're sure it's OK with your dad ..."

Those who have taken part in public pro-life actions know the taunt invariably shouted by the contras: "Pro-life, that's a lie! You don't care if women die!" Inaccuracy apart, the accusation of indifference comes ill from those who will condone almost any imposture directed at almost any victim, provided another pair of hands gets stained the color of their own.

Copyright 2005 Catholic Culture.

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