Breaking Legal News - POSTED: 2007/05/10 16:56
Planned Parenthood (PP), Southwest Ohio Region, and its representatives were without comment on Wednesday, May 9, 2007, when they were named as defendants in a lawsuit filed in Warren County Ohio, alleging that they violated Ohio law by their failure to report the sexual abuse of minors. The suit alleges that on November 15, 2004, 16 year-old Denise Fairbanks, was brought to PP by her father, who had been sexually assaulting her since she was 13. He sought an abortion for his daughter at PP's Auburn Avenue facility in order to cover up the sexual abuse and resulting pregnancy.
"If the allegations are true, then PP is complicit in the abuse of Ms. Fairbanks when they should have protected her," says Dana Cody of Life Legal Defense Foundation (LLDF). "Our children deserve better."
Attorney Brian E. Hurley of Cincinnati based law firm Crabbe, Brown and James, who is representing Ms. Fairbanks, stated in the complaint that PP's "don't ask, don't tell policy" resulted in another one and one-half years of abuse of Ms. Fairbanks. It wasn't until a basketball coach reported the abuse that Ms. Fairbanks's father was tried and convicted of sexual assault.
The suit also alleges the failure to report abuse of another unnamed minor as proof of PP's pattern and practice of non-reporting of sexual abuse of minors.
In addition to the failure to protect Ms. Fairbanks by not reporting the abuse in violation of the law, the suit calls into question PP's policies and procedures as well as the training and supervision of clinic employees.
A copy of the complaint is available at www.lldf.org. LLDF is helping to fund a similar case, also in Ohio, Roe v. Planned Parenthood. That suit seeks damages against PP for performing an abortion on a minor in violation of Ohio law, including laws mandating reporting of suspected sexual abuse of minors . There is a hearing in that case next week, wherein PP has objected to producing records requested by "Roe," who is making allegations similar to those of Ms. Fairbanks. "Roe" is also being represented by Mr. Hurley.