Gazette's Wayne Laugesen on why he thinks Planned Parenthood covers up statutory rape

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"We'd been sort of following the whole thing with President Obama's comment that 'rape is rape,' and pondering what that statement really meant," says Laugesen in regard to the Gazette's editorial board. "And we'd written and published an editorial a few days earlier that said we understand the sentiment, but is all rape really equal? And we explained that it's not, if we want to be truthful about it. Every state has very unique statutory rape laws that vary greatly. In Arizona, I think, an eighteen year old who sleeps with her seventeen-year-old boyfriend could technically be charged with rape -- but in Colorado, it's very different, and there are very pragmatic statutory rape laws."

By the way, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan recently used the same "rape is rape" language as Obama, despite having previously sponsored legislation that used the phrase "forcible rape" -- which critics on the left see as an attempt to blame some sexual assaults on victims who presumably "wanted it." Laugesen says he was unaware of Ryan's statement.

After the "rape is rape" editorial, Laugesen continues, "it sort of dawned on me that we as a country rightly have zero tolerance for those suspected of looking the other way regarding sexual exploitation or abuse of children." Meanwhile, "the Penn State thing was still in the news, and the subject of rape kept coming up because of the asinine comments" made by Todd "Legitimate Rape" Akin, a Missouri senatorial candidate. "And it got me thinking about the manner in which this country responds to sexual abuse and exploitation of children and those who should stop it but don't."

The topic also spurred Laugesen to reflect again about his "personal knowledge of someone's child getting an abortion at Planned Parenthood and feeling that the institution mishandled the situation.

"It was a deal where I knew of a young person through that person's relatives, and they had found out later that this person had gotten an abortion, and that this person had been violated by an older person. And they were upset, because they felt they should have known about it and felt that Planned Parenthood should have been suspicious at the time."

Continue reading for more of our interview with the Gazette's Wayne Laugesen.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
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