Virginia Attorney General Absolves Abortion Clinics From Requirement to Report Suspected Rapes of Teen Girls

This is so repulsive, I don’t see how you can say it otherwise but you never know…

It becomes crystal clear when you read the decision that the problem is with the statute itself. The statute only requires that a suspected rape be reported by a VDH inspector if the legal guardians are the suspected perpetrators or the suspected rape is believed to be the result of their negligence. The AG can’t hold VDH inspectors to reporting requirements that don’t exist under the law.

Apparently Virginia is a parental consent state, so theoretically a 13- or 14-year-old girl would be at a clinic with a parent (only needs the consent of one parent). So one could reasonably assume that the parent would be taking care of any suspected abuse of the daughter, unless of course, the abuse was due to the other parent or legal guardian, in which case the clinic should notify.

If it were suspected that the girl was being abused by a stepfather, or live-in boyfriend of the mother’s, this would probably fall under negligence and so should be reported also.

That is one scenario but this decision was about VDH inspectors reviewing medical records after an abortion has already taken place.

I agree with you a million percent

I seem to recall you being quite critical of Catholics regarding a priest potentially being forced to violate the seal of the confessional, and here I see you apparently defending an attorney general on some other technicality with regard to rape. What is the material difference in the two scenarios to you?

Oops, I put too much credence in the headline.

This is why details are important. In the first scenario, the priest was (allegedly) informed by the victim that sexual abuse was occurring. The AG’s decision in this case revolves around medical records which do not outline the circumstances surrounding the pregnancy.

According to the AG, it sounds like his statement is in reference to determining abuse based on the medical record or at least starting the trail with the medical records.
*“learns from the review of a medical record that a 14-year-old girl received services related to her pregnancy is not required to make a report of child abuse and neglect pursuant to Virginia Code”*Are you absolving the AG, but criticizing the rule that does not require the reporting of child abuse?

The context matters. The medical records in this case are those in which only the age of the patient is noted and not the condition(s) surrounding the pregnancy. The AG notes two important things:

  1. VDH inspectors are only required by statute to report cases resulting from abuse or negligence on the part of the legal guardians.

  2. Abuse or negligence on the part of the legal guardians cannot be inferred solely on the basis of the age of a patient.

He was very clear that VDH inspectors are required to report to law enforcement if the medical records allege abuse or negligence on the part of the legal guardians. He’s only saying the obvious; that just because a patient is 14 doesn’t mean that the guardians are abusive or negligent. The AG doesn’t need to be absolved of anything.

I see - I understand that it if there is no evidence of abuse that none needs to be reported. However, what about

“It is also my opinion that the VDH licensing inspector is not required to make a report to law enforcement of the crime of carnal knowledge of a child between the ages of 13 and 15.”

Is he not saying a “crime” need not be reported by such an inspector?

Yes, he is. But this is in fact how clinics have been operating across the US. A minor comes in for an abortion and receives one, no questions asked. Even if brought in by their abuser- pimp- adult partner. In many states the parents don’t even have a right to know or required to give consent. Great protection for the abuser/adult partner.

In CA it’s ridiculous. You have to provide signed permission for school staff to give your daughter an ibuprofen or asprin— but she could go walk in and receive an abortion without either parent being informed.

Yes, it is repulsive. But then again, if a priest were to hear from the very rapist in confession, he isn’t “allowed” to report the crime either. Any rapist, child molester, or murderer can tell a priest all about it and it won’t be reported. And any information coming from a person going to confession who reveals details of a crime against themselves or others wouldn’t be brought to the attention of the authorities.

So an underage girl becomes pregnant and you do not believe there is evidence of abuse?

I am confused here.

In what circumstance can an underage girl be pregnant in which statutory rape has not occurred?

That much is true but the AG can’t be admonished for this either. He is only echoing what the statute says. The statute which defines what VDH inspectors are required to report is bad law which needs to be changed by the legislature. Important to note is that the AG decision is only a reflection of what these inspectors are legally required to report not what they can report.

Great question! Statutory rape laws are a tricky business. For example, if both the boy and the girl are below the legal age of consent then statutory rape has not occurred. Therefore the age of the girl alone is not evidence of a crime. There’s nothing on which to base an allegation of a crime when the medical records don’t say anything about the circumstances surrounding the pregnancy.

Rather different scenario, don’t you think? If it were the case that priests could turn in those making confessions, nobody would MAKE confessions in the first place. The overall public sees no net benefit to such a rule since the criminal then gets no moral assistance in turning from his criminal ways and reforming his life. The criminal gets no assistance in performing or perpetuating his crime by confessing to a priest.

The situation of allowing abortion providers to do underage abortions without investigation, on the other hand, enables statutory rapists to hide their crime. It actually makes it easier for him to get away with it. The situations are 100% opposite, not similar.

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