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First, I anticipate that sometime today the site will be down while the theme template is being changed. This should not take hours and hours, I don’t think.

Second, today is the 200th birthday of both Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin. Gallup did a poll showing that only 4 in 10 Americans believed in evolution. I personally think “believing in” evolution is irrelevant. The relevant question is, do you understand it? If you understand it, then you see how it works and how the process of evolution makes life on this planet possible. It’s not a matter of belief.

Third, demonstrating all the understanding and compassion of rabid wolverines, the Fetus People are going after a Planned Parenthood clinic for counseling an 11-year-old who was raped by her boyfriend. The 11-year-old said the clinic counselors helped her cope. But the Fetus People are outraged because the clinic didn’t notify the police. Of course, if the girl had asked them not to, because she wasn’t able to deal with the police, and the clinic had betrayed her wishes, the rape victim would have been put through more emotional anguish and trauma. But who cares about the rape victim? All that’s important is to attack and destroy Planned Parenthood.

Fourth, the usual mouth breathers continue to deride Barack Obama for his lack of leadership abilities. Fine; let them continue to look ridiculous. They’re only fooling themselves.

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20 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Lynne  •  Feb 12, 2009 @11:04 am

    The comments on the ping from Hot Air are stomach turning.

  2. Jay Tea  •  Feb 12, 2009 @11:20 am

    [Comment deleted for being unnecessarily nasty. -- maha]

  3. Mike  •  Feb 12, 2009 @11:27 am

    Last time I checked an 11 year old is a child. According to the law, the clinic is required to notify the police in all cases of sexual abuse of children. Kudos to the PP for counseling, but it does not excuse them from their requirements and duty under the law. I find it disturbing that you would justify this, plus you have outrage for this group, where is the outrage for the rapist?

  4. Swami  •  Feb 12, 2009 @11:38 am

    Congratulation to Captain Ed…He graduated from a luke warm fence sitting conservative who always included a statement of reservation in his commentary so he could have a foothold in both sides of an argument( to appear reasonable); to a full blown out of control adherent of the Malkin school of smear, lies, and innuendo. He bartered his dignity and soul for the worthless praises from the malignant Malkin. What price we pay for acceptance?
    Now we get to see the quality of his work… and it stands like a beacon that generates shit… his deceptions and lies are radiant.
    I deem him an asswipe!

  5. Raspie  •  Feb 12, 2009 @11:42 am

    It’s awesome that you guys are all for letting child rapists go unpunished.

    The child rapist appreciates your kind of thinking.

  6. maha  •  Feb 12, 2009 @11:44 am

    Mike, #4 — Rape is a horrible crime not only because it violates the body but also because it negates humanity. The victim becomes a thing deprived of will and free agency. Depriving the victim of free agency by making a police report against her wishes amounts to raping her a second time. Like I said, all the understanding and compassion of rabid wolverines.

    It is standard procedure to encourage a rape victim to file a police report and confront the rapist. If Planned Parenthood did not do that, then they are at fault. However, if they did encourage the girl to file a report and she refused, that puts the clinic in the position of further destroying the girl’s self-esteem — raping her again, as I said — or keeping her confidence but not prosecuting the rapist. It is a terrible choice, but one best made by people close to the situation. That would not be you.

  7. Raspie  •  Feb 12, 2009 @11:50 am

    [Comment deleted for being unnecessarily ignorant. -- maha]

  8. Swami  •  Feb 12, 2009 @11:53 am

    Mike #4, If you can’t see the deceptions and lies in that story.. than you’re hopeless.

  9. maha  •  Feb 12, 2009 @12:00 pm

    I’m going to put this in the comments, because I know the people coming from right-wing sites are not reading my post. It turns out that state laws on what constitutes statutory rape vary widely, and in many states it’s only rape if the rapist is at least age 18. In this case, the alleged rapist was age 17, so it might not have been rape in that state.

    Laws mandating what must be reported by hospitals and clinics are also a great deal more varied and convoluted than the Hot Air tribe understands. Not reporting a rape may or may not have been a violation of law in that state. I don’t have time to look into it in more detail, but I found a document that explains it all somewhat:

    http://www.hhs.gov/opa/familyplanning/toolsdocs/statutory_rape_state_laws_lewin.pdf

  10. maha  •  Feb 12, 2009 @12:15 pm

    #10 — I’m leaving that bit of sickness up because it exemplifies the twisted thinking of most right-wingers. We should stick it under a bell jar and put it in the Personality Disorder Hall of Fame.

  11. Max Conservative  •  Feb 12, 2009 @12:42 pm

    Uh Maha, you probably want to take down your link to the Statutory Rape page, it’s not helping your case. In California, if the girl is under 14, and the girl in the story was, even if the boy isn’t ten years older, it’s considered a crime, and must be reported.

    Then of course, you have to wonder about something else. If two investigators are able to get the PP people in every clinic they’ve visited so far, to commit the same crime, then isn’t a systemic problem? Why aren’t you calling for PP to be reformed, or eliminated entirely until or unless they respect the rights of the citizens of the state?

    I’m sure you would never support a criminal organization, defined as one which habitually commits crimes, let’s set the crossbar at Felonies shall we? Then since the organization has committed felonies in several states, we have little choice but to find that Planned Parenthood is in fact a Criminal Organization, and we must at the very least remove all Federal Funding right? I’m sure you’ll agree. You seem reasonable.

    Have fund deleting this comment, I’m sure I’ll be labeled as a hate monger like the rest of the comments you deleted.

  12. Jay Tea  •  Feb 12, 2009 @12:58 pm

    In the second example, from Planned Parenthood’s own site (since purged):

    1) the victim was 13.

    2) the perpetrator was 39.

    Again, very clear-cut.

    J.

  13. maha  •  Feb 12, 2009 @1:02 pm

    Jay Tea — again, it depends on state law. At age 13 in some states the clinic would not be required to report the rape without the victim’s consent (see document linked above). Whether that applies to the state in question I do not know. Even if the clinic were violating the law, forcing her to deal with the criminal justice system against her will might have constituted a terrible cruelty to the victim. You would have to have some sensitivity to human feelings to appreciate that, however, so I’m not holding out hope that you do.

    This stuff is not nearly as clear cut as you make it out to be.

  14. maha  •  Feb 12, 2009 @1:08 pm

    Max Conservative — I will take your word that is what the document says. I don’t have time to check it out. Note that reporting law and statutory rape law are two different things, however. I believe in some states the hospital would not be required to report the rape against the victim’s will, even if it were statutory rape.

    Then of course, you have to wonder about something else. If two investigators are able to get the PP people in every clinic they’ve visited so far, to commit the same crime, then isn’t a systemic problem?

    I suspect the “systemic problem” is the bias of the “investigators.”

  15. felicity  •  Feb 12, 2009 @4:40 pm

    From first hand experience I know that there are ethnic communities right here in America which consider a raped woman ‘unclean’ and as such she is shunned by family and community. (They assume that ‘she asked for it.’)

    Obviously, were she to turn him in she would be ‘turning’ herself in . My responsibility at the time was to protect her, not subject her to further horror by revealing her ‘crime’ which if she, or I, was to bring to the police would have been the result.

  16. ttime750  •  Feb 12, 2009 @6:36 pm

    Come on, Felicity. Your making excuses. It’s like the old “health of the mother” excuse which statistics show to be less than 3% of abortions.

  17. Doug Hughes  •  Feb 12, 2009 @7:23 pm

    I expect a health care provider, whether physical or emotional healer, an MD or an RN to put the health of the patient FIRST. This is a moral obligation right up there with the obligation a priest has not to reveal anything he learns in the confessional, or a lawyer in confidence (privilidged information). Journalists have a moral obligation to protect sources and have gone to jail because they would not give them up.

    Which brings us to an issue more central than the respective ages of the victim or the rapist in one state or another. Planned Parenhood has a MORAL obligation to folow what they think is in the best interests of the patient. Period. Without Compromise. If there are legal repurcussions, then fight it in court to the Supreme Court if nescessary. Protect the patient FIRST.

    The Fetus People always take the position that the woman has no rights.

  18. maha  •  Feb 12, 2009 @7:57 pm

    ttime750 — The 3 percent figure was pulled out of someone’s butt, I believe, but even if it’s true — if you, your daughter, your wife, were one of the 3 percent, it’s suddenly 100 percent of the person you love (or you, if you are a woman, although I doubt you are) who’s at risk.

    Women are human beings, not cows.

  19. beckya57  •  Feb 14, 2009 @2:00 pm

    I’m a child clinical psychologist and psychiatric nurse practitioner, and thus a mandated reporter (mandated to report abuse/neglect of children). Maha’s right that this isn’t as clear-cut as it would have been if a family member had assaulted the child; in that case, a report to Child Protective Services would be mandatory in all 50 states, no question. I’m guessing here since I don’t have all of the facts, but I probably would have called CPS, given them the facts as a hypothetical without naming names initially, and then asked for guidance as to whether a report was required. Again, without all of the facts, I don’t know what they would have told me, but I suspect they would have required a report, and then forwarded it to the police. Much as I hate to side with the Fetus People about anything, they may have a valid point here (though their motivations are certainly open to question). Based on this limited information, I think Planned Parenthood is on pretty shaky ethical/legal grounds in not reporting. Child victims often do not want abuse reported; they often care about their abusers, and don’t want to get them in trouble. However, when abuse isn’t reported, it continues, and often there are other or potential future victims that also need protection. The burden of decision making in these cases should be on the adults, not the child. These issues are very messy and complicated, but this is why mandated reporting is necessary.

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