Thursday, February 11, 2010

Alabama puts abortion clinic on probation following student’s undercover work

A Planned Parenthood abortion business in Birmingham, Alabama that was found in an undercover video hiding a potential case of sexual abuse has been placed on probation by state officials. The video (see below) also showed a Planned Parenthood employee telling a woman posing as a teenager how she can evade the state's parental consent law.

As reported last July, the video showed a staffer at Planned Parenthood telling a woman who appears to be a victim of statutory rape that "we bend the rules."

The Birmingham Planned Parenthood counselor tells pro-life advocate Lila Rose, who pretends to be a 14-year-old statutory rape victim, that it "does sometimes bend the rules a little bit" rather than report sexual abuse to state authorities.

Now, state health officials told the Associated Press today the abortion center has been placed on probation.

They indicated the Planned Parenthood abortion facility has until next week to submit a plan to the state health department on how it will fix the problems of not properly reporting potential cases of sexual abuse of minors to authorities as required by state law.

The request came after investigators for the department found Planned Parenthood files showing girls aged 13-15 having abortions even though they are obviously victims of statutory rape.

The document also found Planned Parenthood failed to comply with the parental consent law Alabama has in place. That requires parents to sign off no an abortion before a teenager is allowed to have one.

After the video expose, the Planned Parenthood abortion business released a statement saying its staff normally act in a professional manner and promising an internal probe.

"Planned Parenthood of Alabama provides high quality health care and takes any allegation of this nature very seriously," it claimed.

"An essential part of our mission is to protect teens, and to make sure that they get the counseling and medical care they need. We will conduct an internal, fact-based review to ensure that all our high standards of care have been met," it added.

"Planned Parenthood of Alabama is committed to following all laws, and regularly makes reports to law enforcement officials. The health and safety of our patients is our top priority and we know that parents trust their teens to get accurate information and quality care at Planned Parenthood health centers. We will continue to work exceptionally hard to maintain that trust," it claimed.

But the staffer in question broke that trust when it comes to obeying state law and helping teenager girls and their parents.

The counselor Rose spoke with tells her that a signature from an "older sister that's over the age of 18" or someone "with the same last name" could function as a substitute for parental consent so Planned Parenthood could perform an abortion on a minor.

However, Alabama law specifies that the written permission of either a parent or legal guardian is necessary before a minor may obtain an abortion.

Randy Christian of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office heard the tape at the time and told CBS 42 he was shocked by it.

"Anyone who sees that should be disturbed by it, and I hope they're disturbed by it," he said.

"For a 31 year old to have sex with a 14 year old, that is rape in the second degree. I think they are not only morally obligated to report it - the law requires them to report it, and there could be some serious consequences otherwise," he said.