Analysis

No need to report rape of minors says Virginia Attorney General in shocking opinion

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The Attorney General of Virginia recently released an opinion sure to delight rapists, sex traffickers, and pedophiles all over the state, freeing them to do more of their deeds without fear of being known. No longer do medical personnel–which includes abortion clinics–need to report suspected rape when a teenage girl is found to have an abortion. According to Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring (D), those reporting laws only apply if someone thinks a parent or guardian raped a girl.

The opinion, which includes, “prenatal or abortion services” as possible rape indicators that no longer have to be reported to law enforcement, was quietly released last month, Herring writes:

“It is my opinion that a Virginia Department of Health (VDH) licensing inspector who is a nurse and who, during the course of a hospital inspection, 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 § 63.2-1509 unless there is reason to suspect that a parent or other person responsible for the child’s care committed, or allowed to be committed, the unlawful sexual act upon the child.”

Virginia Code § 63.2-1509, the opinion says, mandates “‘certain persons, who in their professional or official capacity, have reason to suspect that a child is an abused or neglected child’ to report the matter immediately’….  An ‘abused or neglected child’ is defined as “any child less than 18 years of age … [ w]hose 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 …. ‘”

Herring manages to maneuver words of the abuse statutes just right to issue his opinion, which some pro-lifers say puts him in cahoots with the abortion industry, helping to protect them. Herring writes of the law being “construed” wrong:

“To construe §63.2-1508 as expanding the reporting requirements of “§63.2-1509, thereby expanding the definition of ‘an abused or neglected child,’ results  in an inharmonious interpretation in which both statutes could not stand. Such an interpretation is even more absurd given that §63.2-1508  only requires the local department of social  services to investigate reports where the alleged abuser is a parent or other person responsible for the child’s care.”
What’s actually absurd is the removal of responsibility to report suspected abuse, as if no one but a parent could abuse or allow abuse of a child. The Family Foundation responded to this opinion yesterday saying:
“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.”
The Family Foundation adds that to reach this decision and “protect the abortion industry,” Herring had to overrule two previous Attorney Generals’ decisions, noting one was particularly troubling:
“More concerning, the second was a 2001 Opinion by then Attorney General and now respected Court of Appeals Judge Randolph Beales requiring teachers to report sexual acts against a child regardless whether the teacher suspected or believed the child’s parent or other responsible person committed the sex crime.”

The Family Foundation also notes their report earlier this year when it “discovered from inspection reports that the Roanoke Medical Center for Women performed abortions on three minors without parental consent. At least one of the girls was only 14 years old.”

The Washington Free Beacon notes the work of Live Action which recently investigated the way the abortion industry covers up sex trafficking and abuse:

“[P]ro-life activist Lila Rose produced a series of undercover videos where investigators identified themselves as minors to seek an abortion after a much older man had impregnated them. The videos show abortion clinic workers advising many of the investigators to remain with their abuser and assuring them they would not report the rape to authorities.”

Herring has just made it easier for such abuse to happen without consequence for abortion workers. A man sworn to uphold the law has created a free-for-all in VA for everyone who is not a parent or guardian because now the girl can have an abortion and remove evidence of the abuse without repercussions.

Apparently the Attorney General has never heard of an uncle raping a family member, or maybe a friend of a parent, or a boyfriend, or random abuser, or pedophile down the road, or sex trafficker.  Tragically, many young girls know that abuse happens at far more than only the hand of a parent or guardian. This narrow interpretation of the law had opened a wide chasm for abusers to manipulate–at the hands of innocent girls.

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