Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has issued a shocking ruling saying that abortion clinics do not have to report rapes of teenage girls even though Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics have a long history of doing abortions on rape victims without reporting the rapes to authorities.
A recent Louisiana Supreme Court ruling may land a Catholic priest in jail for refusing to testify about a confession he may have heard several years ago, the Times-Picayune reports.
In an official opinion quietly issued two days before the last Board of Health meeting, the Attorney General determined that the Virginia Health Department, and abortion center staffs, can turn a blind eye to the rape of underage children.
The plaintiffs in the case allege that their underage daughter mentioned during confession to Fr. Jeff Bayhi several years ago that an elderly parishioner inappropriately touched her, and that the priest failed to report it to the authorities.
The opinion was removed from the AG’s website yesterday, but reappeared last night, according to the pro-life group Family Foundation, which alerted LifeNews to the opinion.
The current Louisiana Children’s Code says that mandated reporters–people who have regular contact with vulnerable groups like children and are legally required to report signs of abuse– include “any priest…or other similarly situated functionary of a religious organization unless not required to report a confidential communication as defined in the Code of Evidence Article 511.”
“This surprising opinion absolves health care professionals at abortion centers or the health department of responsibility to report the suspected rape of a child to the Department of Social Services or law enforcement. In order to reach this conclusion and protect the abortion industry, the Attorney General had to overrule two opinions issued by prior Attorneys General. First was a 2003 opinion issued by then Attorney General Jerry Kilgore that required health care officials to report statutory rape when the victim reveals it during conversation,” the pro-life group said.
The Code of Evidence Article allows exemptions for confidential communication “it is made privately and not intended for further disclosure except to other persons present” and notes that the privilege “may be claimed by the person or by his legal representative. The clergyman is presumed to have authority to claim the privilege on behalf of the person or deceased person.”
According to Virginia law, health care professionals, including the State Health Commissioner, are required to report suspected cases of child abuse or neglect to the Department of Social Services to be investigated. (Virginia Code §63.2-1509). The group says an “abused or neglected child” is defined in Virginia Code §63.2-100 to be “any child less than 18 years of age…whose parents or other person responsible for his care commits or allows to be committed any act of sexual exploitation or any sexual act upon a child in violation of the law….”
SOURCES: LifeNews.com, The Daily Caller.