A 21-year-old is suing the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) for knowingly placing her in a home with her biological father, even though she barely knew him and he had a criminal history of abuse. Because of that decision, the woman, who is identified only as Jane Doe, was raped by her father at the young age of 11. When she became pregnant and confided in her stepmother, she was forced to have an abortion.
In the lawsuit, Doe’s background is laid out in painful detail. She lived with her mother, suffering neglect and abuse, until she was removed at age 11 and placed into foster care. She met her father for the first time in 2010, having no idea that he had a history of abuse. The state, however, did know; he had been arrested and sent to jail for domestic battery. While Doe was in foster care, she told DHHR that she would kill herself if she had to live with her father. They placed her there anyway, despite his criminal history of domestic abuse, while her sisters were placed with other adults. Her father was given full custody on October 1, 2010.
In less than a month, an official record documented “boundary issues.” By November, Doe was pregnant as a result of being raped by her father. The pregnancy was confirmed in early 2011, and in late January, her father was arrested and charged with domestic battery. But just days later, he was released and was back in the home with Doe, despite the domestic battery charge, the past criminal history of abuse, and documented trouble in the home.
On February 22, 2011, a Prestera family report confirmed that Doe was approximately 14 to 15 weeks pregnant. It was also made clear that her father had no interest in allowing Doe to keep the baby. The report read,
Parents are upset and father does not wish her to continue pregnancy. [Biological father]… indicated due to his own anger management issues, he does not believe he can handle the stress her carrying to term would create. He stated if she has the baby, she cannot remain in his custody for this reason. He is willing to leave and sign his rights over to [stepmother]. However [stepmother]… is uncertain if she can handle the situation and and she shared her own personal issues related to abortion and how… [Plaintiff’s] pregnancy affects her personally.
Though she originally said she got pregnant by a boy her own age, Doe confessed to her stepmother that her father had been raping her. Her stepmother told state officials; when those officials confronted Doe in front of her father, she recanted, and was left in the home. DHHR completely ignored the fact that Doe clearly could not speak openly in front of her rapist. In therapy, Doe continued to speak about how her father raped her, and explained that she recanted because “I didn’t want my daddy to go to jail.” DHHR continued to be in contact with Doe’s therapists, and knew what she was saying, but did nothing.
When DHHR began saying they wanted to obtain a tissue sample of the preborn child to do DNA testing, Doe’s stepmother secretly took her out of state and forced her to have an abortion. She likely had a dilation and evacuation, or D&E, procedure, as she was in her second trimester.
A DHHR report further stated that the stepmother claimed Doe liked having sex with her father, was sexually provocative, and was trying to split the two of them up. Despite all of this, Doe was still living with her father. Meanwhile, he threatened her repeatedly that he would harm her or her sisters if she told anyone the truth. He wasn’t imprisoned until 2018, leaving Doe to live in constant fear, while state officials knew she had been raped, impregnated, and forced into an abortion.
“It’s a shocking story,” James Barber, Doe’s attorney, told the Charleston Gazette-Mail. “She feels like [the DHHR] made poor decisions, and she bore the brunt of it. She went through a terrible, terrible thing for a number of years. It was their responsibility to see she was placed somewhere in a good, safe environment.”
As Live Action’s Aiding Abusers series has shown, the abortion industry is frequently complicit in covering up sexual abuse. As Doe’s case heartbreakingly shows, abortion is a useful tool for abusers and their accomplices to get rid of the evidence of their crimes. And as long as they get paid, abortionists are all too happy to look the other way.
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