PRESS RELEASE, 6/29/2005

Deters will not file charges against Planned Parenthood

Joe Deters, Hamilton County Prosecutor, announced today that no criminal charges will be filed against Planned Parenthood over an abortion they performed on a 14 year old girl on March 30, 2004. According to a lawsuit filed by the girls parents in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court earlier this year, the abortion was performed without their consent or notice as required by state law. This prompted an investigation by the Prosecutors Office.

According to Mr. Deters, although he is troubled by the allegations in the lawsuit, the conduct by Planned Parenthood did not rise to the level of a crime. Unfortunately, under current state law in effect in Ohio, it is easier for a 14 year old girl to get an abortion than to skip school or buy a pack of cigarettes.

The girl involved went to Planned Parenthood and provided the phone number of the father of her unborn child to them when they requested her parents phone number. It was that number Planned Parenthood called in order to comply with the parental notification requirement of the law. You would think the first thing Planned Parenthood would suspect is that a 14 year old girl who shows up without her parents for an abortion would not provide her parents real phone number. Apparently they made no effort to confirm who they spoke with when they placed their call to notify the parents. They called the man who impregnated her, not her parents. They did the minimum they could under existing law.

The father of the unborn child, John Haller, was indicted May 6, 2004 on 7 counts of sexual batter and was found guilty on all counts September 1, 2004. He is currently serving a three year sentence at Lucasville and has been declared a sexual oriented offender.

A law passed by the Ohio legislature in 1998 actually requires a lot more than parental notification. It requires written consent. However, before the law ever went into effect an injunction temporarily halting the statute was ordered by the U.S. District Court in Cincinnati. That injunction is still in effect, and as a result the intent of the Ohio legislature expressed in HB 421 in 1998 requiring written consent by the parents of a minor seeking an abortion is still in limbo awaiting a ruling by the federal court.