‘We Don’t Have to Tell Anybody’
BY Wayne Laugesen
August 18-24, 2002 Issue | Posted 8/18/02 at 1:00 PM
Life Dynamics Inc. of Denton, Texas, taped a young actress who said she was 13 and had been impregnated by her 22-year-old boyfriend calling 800 abortion clinics across the United States (such tapes are legal under Texas law). Here are excerpts from some of those calls to clinics in Colorado.
In a call to the Boulder Valley Women's Health Center, the actress told her story and was referred to Holly, the clinic manager. Holly told the girl she could get around state law by calling back and concealing the rape story she had already told.
“So what you need to do is you need to call completely anonymously and talk to someone on our appointment line,” the clinic manager said. “And don't tell us anything about who your partner is. Okay?”
Later in the conversation, the actress tells Holly the grown man who impregnated her wants to pay for the abortion. Would it be okay, she asks, if he came to the clinic with her?
“He can come with you,” Holly says. “He can't be more than four years older than you on paper.”
A similar response occurred at a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Colorado Springs. The actress was told her boyfriend had committed “statutory rape,” but that she could have the abortion and nobody would have to know about the rape. The clinic worker then coached the girl so she could avoid the possibility someone at the clinic might obey the mandatory reporting law.
Warned the woman, “But like I said, if you express it to someone in the clinic and we document that, then legally we have to report it.”
In a call to Boulder Abortion Clinic, the actress begged to know whether her parents or anyone else would have to know that she was sexually active with an adult. The clinic worker told the caller the abortion would cost $1,200. Then she told the caller to wait a moment while she asked about granting full confidentiality in spite of the law.
When the clinic worker returned to the phone, she told the caller it would be fine to schedule the abortion and that nobody would have to find out. She then proceeded to get the caller's full name and the name of the small community she claimed to live in.
Clinic worker: “And just tell your boyfriend that it's $1,200. We take cash and credit cards, Master Card, Visa, Discover.”
A Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Durango, Colo., told the caller she could come in, pay $410 with cash, credit card or money order, and nobody would ever have to know.
Caller: “My boyfriend's 22. Is he old enough to take care of it and you wouldn't have to tell anybody?”
Clinic worker: “Well, you're old enough. You're old enough to take care of it. We don't have to tell anybody.”
— Wayne Laugesen
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