Leaders of at least two pro-life organizations hope President Barack Obama meant it when he said, “Rape is rape.”
They want him to crack down on sexual exploitation of young girls, which accounts for the majority of rape-related pregnancies.
“Rape is rape,” Obama said. “And the idea that we should be parsing and qualifying and slicing what types of rape we are talking about doesn’t make sense to the American people and certainly doesn’t make sense to me.”
The president’s Aug. 20 remark responded to a now-infamous television interview aired the night before in which Missouri Republican senatorial candidate Todd Akin argued that women typically do not get pregnant as the result of “legitimate rape.”
The leader of Texas-based Life Dynamics hopes the Obama administration might take action to prevent what he calls an epidemic of statutory rape, which the FBI defines as “non-forcible” sex that is deemed unlawful by state criminal codes.
“In light of his comments about rape, I would ask President Obama to instruct the Justice Department to launch a criminal investigation of Planned Parenthood and the whole abortion industry,” said Life Dynamics’ president, Mark Crutcher. “It would be a very simple operation to do. Taxpayers are spending more than $1 million a day on an organization [Planned Parenthood] that is circumventing laws designed to protect children against sexual predators.”
Lila Rose, founder of Live Action — which exposes Planned Parenthood for failing to report statutory rape — also wants a federal investigation to result from the renewed focus on rape. She agrees that “rape means rape,” but says our country doesn’t act like it does.
“Society puts abortion interests in front of the need to protect young girls from rape,” Rose told the Register. “The Justice Department should have long ago investigated Planned Parenthood. They would find widespread cover-ups of statutory rape.”
All states have age-of-consent laws that vary greatly. In most states, adults are prohibited from having sex with someone under the age of 16. All states require that people working for medical providers report to law enforcement any known sexual activity among boys and girls younger than the age of consent, as it may be evidence of statutory rape.
“The epidemic of teen pregnancy is mostly the result of statutory rape,” Crutcher told the Register. “There are 3,500 abortions a day in this country, and a large percentage of those are done on underage girls. Most of those girls are impregnated by adults, not other kids.”
In 2002, Life Dynamics conducted a massive sting operation in which a young professional actor/investigator completed calls with 813 Planned Parenthood and National Abortion Federation businesses in the United States. The actor told intake workers that she was a 13-year-old who had been impregnated by a 22-year-old.
The actor/investigator explained that she needed an abortion to conceal the illegal sexual relationship from her parents and authorities. All calls were recorded.
As reported at the time by WB33 News in Dallas, which conducted its own three-month investigation of Texas abortion businesses, workers agreed to help her cover up the relationship — and protect the rapist — in 91% of the Life Dynamics calls.
One call featured by the TV station went like this:
Girl: “Okay, so nobody would have to find out about him?”
Abortion worker: “We don’t even want to know about him. Because, technically, we would have to report him to the cops.”
Girl: “Oh, okay.”
Abortion worker: “Just like I said, that’s statutory rape.”
The station featured a worker at Trinity Valley Women’s Clinic in Fort Worth coaching the girl on a way to get around a Texas law that requires parental notification before a minor has an abortion.
The abortion worker told the girl: “I mean, you know, I’m not supposed to be telling you this, but there’s no way that I can know for a fact that who you bring in here is not your mom or dad.”
The next day, the Life Dynamics’ actor/investigator called back and said: “I was talking to my boyfriend, and I told you what he said about getting someone to come in that was old enough to look like my dad.”
Abortion worker: “Yes, yes, yes.”
Girl: “Well, he’s got an uncle who is 50 who said he would do it.”
Abortion worker: “Well, as long as he doesn’t tell me he’s not your father, then we’re all right.”
Crutcher explained that Life Dynamics investigated abortion businesses “because there is no place in the world where victims of statutory rape are more likely to show up. These places present an opportunity to catch adults who sexually violate children if the people who work in them would only obey the reporting laws that are in place. If President Obama wants to, he can have a dramatic effect on stopping statutory rape.”
The Register made verbal and written contact with the White House Press Office, asking whether Obama might entertain the idea of an investigation of abortion businesses. The White House has not responded.
Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, a pro-life Catholic, said he is concerned about the likelihood of abortion providers neglecting to report evidence of statutory rape. He was not in the office when Life Dynamics discovered multiple abortion businesses willing to do so in his state.
“I have no doubt it goes on,” Suthers said. “It would not be my direct jurisdiction, but if I were presented with evidence of something specific, I would ask the appropriate district attorney to look into it.”
The Register contacted Planned Parenthood Federation’s communication offices in New York and Washington, by writing and by leaving phone messages, and was unable to obtain comment about Crutcher’s most recent statements and his request for a federal investigation of the organization.
Gena Madow, a Planned Parenthood Federation employee in the Washington office, returned the Register’s call and said only that she would email the organization’s response to Akin’s “legitimate rape” comment.
The email said: “According to a 1996 article in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, ‘among adult women, an estimated 32,101 pregnancies result from rape each year.’ According to Planned Parenthood, more than 5% of all rapes result in pregnancy.”
The numbers come from a 1996 study conducted by the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Medical University of South Carolina. When researchers for the study looked closely at a sampling of 34 rape-related pregnancies, they found that most involved victims who were teenagers.
“The majority occurred among adolescents and resulted from assault by a known, often related perpetrator,” states the results section of the study’s report.
Among the mostly adolescent pregnant victims, 50% aborted their babies, 11.8% miscarried, 5.9% delivered their babies and placed them for adoption, and 32.4% kept the children.
Before she graduated from UCLA, Live Action founder Lila Rose staged a personal sting operation in which she secretly recorded a Planned Parenthood abortion business employee trying to aid and abet an adult male rapist and his teenage victim. Since then, her organization has videotaped multiple episodes of Planned Parenthood employees neglecting mandatory-reporting and parental-consent laws.
“It’s common knowledge that if an older man is having sex with you, Planned Parenthood will help conceal it by providing abortions and not reporting the sexual abuse,” Rose told the Register back in 2007. “When an older man is manipulating a young girl — having sex with her illegally and against her own psychological, spiritual and physiological welfare — the first thing Planned Parenthood wants to do is cover it up and allow the abuse to continue. They want to continue providing the abortions that facilitate the rapist.”
Ohio attorney Brian Hurley represents two clients who have sued Planned Parenthood for neglecting state laws that may have resulted in investigations of their rapes. One case involved a 13-year-old girl who was raped by her adult soccer coach, John Haller. He impregnated the girl and took her to Planned Parenthood for an abortion.
The girl’s parents sued, claiming abortion workers ignored a parental-consent law and a law that requires an “informed consent” meeting with the pregnant patient 24 hours in advance of an abortion. A judge ruled against Planned Parenthood in December of 2010.
Another case, which may be decided in coming weeks, involves a girl who is suing Planned Parenthood because she was repeatedly raped as a child by her father. He impregnated her and took her to Planned Parenthood for an abortion. The father was eventually sentenced to prison, but the girl’s lawsuit alleges that Planned Parenthood workers failed to alert authorities after she complained to them that her father was forcing her to have sex.
“Yes, ‘rape is rape.’ President Obama is right about that,” Hurley told the Register. “Planned Parenthood has more contact with statutory-rape victims than any other entity in the country. They could put a stop to this. But it is 100% correct that they almost never report these crimes. They believe the decision to report a rape should be entirely up to Planned Parenthood, regardless of the law.”
Though Planned Parenthood did not respond to requests for comments about the allegations in this article, the organization issued a comment to the Register for a similar article in 2007.
It said Planned Parenthood “complies with the law, and we are committed to protecting teens from abuse. We take our duty to report this seriously, and our professional staff is trained to identify and report suspected abuse. We work with state authorities to protect women and teens and to bring offenders to justice.”
Register correspondent Wayne Laugesen writes from Colorado.