The Trump administration recently introduced new rules regarding Title X grants for family planning services.
While the proposed changes should prohibit federal funding from going to facilities that perform abortions or give abortion referrals, another component of the new rules has so far attracted little attention (see New federal funding under Trump administration puts Planned Parenthood at a disadvantage). It concerns cases of abuse and rape. A 2014 study on sex trafficking revealed that Planned Parenthood was the facility most concerned by such cases, next to hospital emergency rooms.
However, a letter addressed Thursday to the Department of Health and Human Services and signed by two senators, among others, accuses Planned Parenthood of routinely performing abortions “on children as young as 12 and 13 years old” who are abused, and then returning them to their abusers without notifying the authorities. Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey said that Planned Parenthood has engaged in an “unconscionable, inhumane cover-up of child sex abuse”.
Many accounts have been gathered, like that of Sue Thayer who managed a Planned Parenthood clinic in Storm Lake, Iowa. She said that the employees were “discouraged”. When suspected cases of abuse were reported, Planned Parenthood “didn’t want to have the trouble—the angry parent, the angry boyfriend, whatever it was”. More than once, she was told, “That is not reportable”. In failing to report alleged cases of abuse, abusive situations may have continued for months or even years.
There have been calls for an investigation. Planned Parenthood could be left without annual public funding, amounting to $60 million.
For further reading:
Washingtion Times, Bradford Richardson (07/06/2018) ; National Review, Lila Rose (06/07/2018)