Media

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

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Original post, 12:45 a.m. August 27: Planned Parenthood has been a political football throughout the 2012 presidential campaign -- but the kicking it got from the Colorado Springs Gazette this weekend is still surprising. A Gazette editorial likens the organization to Penn State when it comes to protecting sexual abusers -- an assertion a local Planned Parenthood spokeswoman characterizes as "reprehensible."

"Planned Parenthood, worse than Penn State," penned by past Westword profile subject Wayne Laugesen, claims that "we take sexual abuse of children quite seriously in the United States, but only selectively."

For instance, Laugesen notes that Americans were up in arms after learning about evidence that Penn State ignored evidence that assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was having sex with children -- crimes for which he was recently convicted on 45 counts. Likewise, public opinion was inflamed "when society learned that several Catholic bishops had covered up for child molesters, mostly decades prior," leading to lawsuits totaling more than $3 billion.

Yet, in contrast, Laugesen writes, "our federal government pays more than $1 million a day to Planned Parenthood, which probably covers up more sexual abuse of children than any other institution in the United States."

The "probably" in the previous sentence will leap out to many readers. But Laugesen maintains that "evidence is overwhelming," even though much of what he cites is a bit long in the tooth. For instance, he notes a sting operation conducted in 2002 by an organization called Life Dynamics in which 91 percent of 813 calls conducted (and recorded) were said to have featured operators agreeing to cover up news of a thirteen year old being impregnated by a 22-year-old man.

Also noted are similar stings conducted by Lila Rose, who "has made a full-time career of catching and recording Planned Parenthood workers willing to actively cover up statutory rape;" a court case from 2010 in which parents sued and won when a Planned Parenthood in Ohio didn't report that a thirteen year old had been raped by her adult soccer coach; and an ongoing case involving incestuous rape -- the sort that doesn't typically result in pregnancy according to Todd "Legitimate Rape" Akin.

Laugesen's conclusion: "President Obama, instruct the Justice Department to investigate Planned Parenthood. That institution has no more business than Penn State covering up sexual abuse of children."

How does Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains respond to these accusations?

Continue reading for more on the comparison of Planned Parenthood and Penn State.
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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.
Contact: Michael Roberts