Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Where the ICLU *Should* Be

Speaking of protecting rights, here's a horrifying ruling from Indiana this week. The state sued Planned Parenthood for the medical records of 84 patients under the age of 14. Why the arbitrary age? Because in Indiana, any sexually active child under the age of 14 is considered abused. You know that privacy that your doctor (or in this case Planned Parenthood) promises you? Well, in many cases, (lately Kansas if you had a late term abortion), it's only supported by the state until, well, it's not.

In this case, the judge ruled that protecting the child (from alleged child abuse) was more compelling than protecting the child (from buttinsky social workers and teen pregnancy.) What the judge doesn't recognize (and the state doesn't want to remember) is that Planned Parenthood doctors are under the same obligations as other doctors to report abuse if they suspect it -- and in none of these cases did they suspect abuse. They suspected just what they had, sexually active 12 and 13- year-olds who were smart enough to come to Planned Parenthood for care, possibly birth control, and certainly advice. What does the state want? The state attorney general wants press and headlines for going after the partners of these abuse victims (as if the AG doesn't have enough meth labs to go after) since any and everyone sexually active at that age is abused as defined by the state of Indiana. Sadly, the loser in this will be young girls who need help. Planned Parenthood will lose more ground in protecting the rights of young girls who may possibly go for help (and birth control) when they're sexually active instead of accepting their fate of being a mother by 15. (PP did note that none of these cases involved abortion.)

Ken Falk (who seems pretty smart when he's not trying to sue the legislature for prayer) "called the state's effort a fishing expedition that will, if allowed to stand, have a chilling effect on minors' willingness to seek reproductive health care."
What's next? Planned Parenthood has asked Judge Johnson to delay carrying out his decision. Johnson could decide today whether he will issue the stay. If Johnson declines to issue the stay, Ken Falk, an attorney for the Indiana Civil Liberties Union representing Planned Parenthood, will take his request for a stay to the Indiana Court of Appeals. In any event, Falk said, Planned Parenthood will appeal Johnson's original decision.
More on the case and also the Kansas case in the IndyStar.


At Wed Jun 08, 07:45:00 PM, Blogger Erudite Redneck said...

Yo, has harvest come thru yer old stomping grounds yet?


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