In a ruling that may be the first of its kind, a state trial court ruled on Tuesday that an Ohio Planned Parenthood clinic violated state law by not abiding by the state’s mandatory 24-hour reflection period before a woman can obtain an abortion.
Adding to the drama of this case is the fact that the woman in question was a minor at the time of her abortion. As AUL has reported in the past, the minor, unnamed in the case in the interest of confidentiality, was taken to the clinic by her 22-year-old “boyfriend” (her soccer coach), and obtained the abortion without either her parents’ consent or notification. In 2004 the “boyfriend” was convicted of sexual battery and spent three years in prison—despite Planned Parenthood’s apparent efforts to keep the pregnancy and abortion a secret.
The state’s informed consent law is not the only law violated by Planned Parenthood in this case; still before the court is the issue of parental involvement (i.e., whether Planned Parenthood violated state law by not informing the parents of the planned abortion or getting their consent). Further, the minor’s pregnancy and boyfriend’s involvement in her abortion should have incited Planned Parenthood’s employees—mandatory reporters under Ohio law—to report her sexual abuse/statutory rape to the proper authorities. They did not.
AUL has been involved in this case since 2008, providing legal assistance to lead attorney Brian Hurley of Ohio. In May 2008, AUL filed an amicus curiae brief before the Ohio Supreme Court, arguing that Planned Parenthood’s actions and refusal to hand over pertinent records threatened the state’s protection of minors by undermining the parental involvement and statutory rape laws. That brief, filed on behalf of members of Ohio’s Congressional delegation including Speaker-designate John Boehner, is available here.
We hope that this case is only the first of many; we hope it will encourage women to step forward and demonstrate that Planned Parenthood has injured thousands and thousands of women—both physically and psychologically—by pushing their radical, abortion-on-demand agenda and ignoring state and federal laws. Planned Parenthood needs to be held accountable.