By Office of Congressman Ralph Abraham
WASHINGTON – Congressman Ralph Abraham, R-Alto, joined Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, and other members of Congress in calling for an investigation into Planned Parenthood’s failure to report the suspected sexual abuse of minors in their care.
A recent study by Live Action compiled court cases, state health department reports and testimonials from former Planned Parenthood employees that highlight multiple instances where Planned Parenthood failed to report suspected sexual abuse of minors in their care.
Planned Parenthood is the largest recipient of Title X family planning funds – about $60 million annually. However, federal law requires Title X recipients to report suspected child sexual abuse, rape and incest.
Dr. Abraham, Hartzler, Ernst and 53 other members of Congress sent a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Sec. Alex Azar on Thursday requesting that HHS investigate the reporting failures to determine whether Planned Parenthood is compliant with the law.
“Despite the evidence that reporting problems seem to be a pervasive part of the organization’s culture, Planned Parenthood facilities continue to receive Title X funding,” the members wrote. “The report’s findings suggest that abusers feel comfortable taking their victims to Planned Parenthood. We are therefore requesting an investigation into Title X recipients, particularly Planned Parenthood, to determine how widespread this failure is and if there are other instances where Planned Parenthood failed in its duty to report suspected child abuse to local authorities and HHS.”
The study’s key findings of Planned Parenthood reporting failures include:
- In Washington in 2014, George Savanah repeatedly raped and impregnated his daughter, and took her to Planned Parenthood to have each pregnancy terminated while she was 14, 16 and 17 years old.
- In Colorado in 2012, Timothy David Smith forced his stepdaughter to have an abortion after he impregnated her when she was 13 years old. Planned Parenthood not only performed the abortion but also sent her home with her abuser.
- In Ohio in 2004, Denise Fairbanks sustained repeated sexual abuse by her father for years. At 16, her father impregnated her and took her to Planned Parenthood for an abortion. Despite notifying the staff of her abuse, Planned Parenthood ignored her pleas for help, refused to report the incident to authorities, and sent her home with her father, who continued to abuse her.
Read the letter to Sec. Azar here.
Read the Live Action study here.