Life Legal Defense Foundation is pleased to announce that the Ohio case, Roe v. Planned Parenthood, Case No. A0502691, Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas, has been “resolved and dismissed,” according to a statement by attorney for the plaintiffs, Brian Hurley (Crabbe, Brown & James LLP). Resolution of the case comes after judgment was entered against Planned Parenthood on one claim, and after a leading post traumatic stress disorder expert had confirmed that abortions can and do cause severe emotional and psychological harm.

Recall that the plaintiffs sought compensatory and punitive damages against Planned Parenthood (PP) for failure to comply with their statutory duty to inform Jane Roe’s parents of her intended abortion. Jane, at age 14, had been impregnated by her 21-year-old soccer coach, also the man who brought her in for the abortion. Ohio law requires abortion providers to notify the parents of a minor prior to performing an abortion. Instead of notifying Jane’s parents, PP phoned the sexual predator.

Prior to resolution PP was dealt a major blow to its defense, a ruling on the applicability of Ohio’s informed consent statute [archive]. Ohio’s statute requires written consent by the minor and at least one parent, with the purpose of ensuring that the patient is making a truly informed decision free of misinformation or coercion. PP admitted that it did not attempt to comply with this statute when Jane Roe came for the abortion, claiming that the law had been enjoined in a previous case,Cincinnati Women’s Services v. Taft. Hamilton County Judge Jody Luebbers ruled that PP could not rely on the former injunction since it unambiguously applied only to the defendants in Taft, and PP had been so notified in writing by their attorney.

PP’s failure to notify the parents and to gain informed consent resulted in Jane not only undergoing the abortion, but also in the continued cover-up of the sexual abuse.

“Resolution of this case must have been an act of desperation on the part of PP,” states Dana Cody, LLDF’s President and Executive Director. “They went, in a matter of months, from litigating every inch of their defense to a sudden willingness to resolve the matter. I would speculate that had PP gone to trial there would have been too much exposure of how they do business. After all, they are currently experiencing public outrage over their apparent willingness to cover up the sexual exploitation of children. What more might they have to hide?”

Roe v. Planned Parenthood demonstrates a disturbing trend in PP clinics: disregard for the health and wellbeing of women and children. Recently, the student-led group Live Action has used under-cover videos to document the willingness of PP employees to cover up sexual abuse. The latest Live Action videos show a Planned Parenthood employee actually coaching an undercover reporter posing as a pimp, telling him where to get abortions “no questions asked.” [http://liveaction.org/traffick] Although Planned Parenthood claims that it later fired this employee, the evidence continues to mount: this business is entirely willing to ignore the law. These instances of complicity in sex trafficking have been a major impetus for the efforts in the U.S. House of Representatives to remove all federal funding from PP. [http://defundplannedparenthood.org/]

PP’s willingness to cover for sex offenders is also demonstrated by another Ohio case,Fairbanks v. Planned Parenthood, Case no. A0901484, Hamilton County, Ohio Court of Common Pleas. Denise Fairbanks, age 16, was sexually abused by her father, who took her to PP for an abortion. Although she informed PP staff that she was being forced to have sex, they did not report to local law enforcement. More than a year later, the father was apprehended through a report filed by Denise’s basketball coach, and sent to jail. Denise suffered those months of abuse PP could have prevented by promptly reporting. Denise’s claims for damages await trial and the resolution of Roe v. Planned Parenthood holds no detriment to her claims.

LLDF commends Brian Hurley for his tremendous and successful work in litigating Roe. His diligence and perseverance in protecting vulnerable women and children continues as he represents Denise Fairbanks.

It is our hope that the successful conclusion of Roe brings closure for the family involved, and that as a result of the litigation abortion providers throughout Ohio, and the nation, will be induced to comply with the law to protect vulnerable women and children.