Ohio court: Planned Parenthood violated law in teen statutory rape case

ADF-allied attorney represents parents of girl sexually assaulted by soccer coach
Friday, December 10, 2010

CINCINNATI — A Hamilton County court determined Tuesday that Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio Region violated a state “informed consent” law when it failed to meet with a 14-year-old girl at least 24 hours prior to giving her an abortion. The ruling is part of an ongoing lawsuit filed by an ADF-allied attorney on behalf of the parents of the girl, who was brought to the clinic for an abortion by the 22-year-old soccer coach who impregnated her.

“The health and safety of young girls is more important than Planned Parenthood’s desire to perform an abortion,” said ADF-allied attorney Brian Hurley, one of nearly 1,900 attorneys in the ADF alliance. “Ohio law mandates that Planned Parenthood meet with someone seeking an abortion in advance to be certain that she has all the information she needs to make a decision. That didn’t happen.”

The parents brought suit on their daughter’s behalf when they discovered that Planned Parenthood allowed their daughter to undergo an abortion at the behest of the girl’s soccer coach without notifying civil authorities, which is required in cases of statutory rape. Neither Planned Parenthood nor the soccer coach notified the parents of the abortion or the sexual relationship. The soccer coach was convicted of sexual battery and served three years in prison.

In its decision, the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas agreed with the parents that Planned Parenthood “breached their duty…to have a physician, at least twenty-four hours prior to Plaintiff Jane Roe’s abortion, meet with Plaintiff Jane Roe in a private setting to be certain that Plaintiff Jane Roe understood the information necessary for her to make an informed decision about whether to have an abortion.”

The case, Roe v. Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio Region, goes to trial Feb. 7.

“The court made the right decision at this point in the case, and we look forward to ultimate success once the trial is over,” said ADF Legal Counsel Matt Bowman.

ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith. Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.