Mary Jean Doe, whose name has been changed to protect her identity, was just 12 years old when an older brother and a friend of the family began sexually abusing her. The abuse led to a visit to Planned Parenthood, where no one made an attempt to help her.
“Just before I was 13 years old, I was sexually abused by an older brother and by a college-age friend of the family,” she wrote in SisterLife (originally printed by Feminists for Life in SisterLife and “The American Feminist”). “I was never assaulted by the two together, but each knew of the other’s involvement – the older brother gave me ‘tips’ for sexual acts on the family friend. The abuse went on for three or four months, Doe explained. Then her period was late and at such a young age, she knew “that if you did not have periods, you were pregnant. And if you were pregnant, you were in trouble.”
Desperate for help, she told her Sunday school teacher that she thought she might be pregnant. That teacher, without asking any questions, told her she should have one of her brothers take her to Planned Parenthood… and to not tell her parents. So that’s what she did.
She told her brother she might be pregnant, and he told her she should have made the other abuser wear a “rubber.” She didn’t know what that was. Then, the scared 12-year-old girl — with no experience having a gynecological exam and having never been to a doctor without her mother — walked into Planned Parenthood with her abusive older brother.
“The whole visit was terrifying,” Doe said. “No one explained anything. I was examined, gave urine and blood samples, and [was shown] a chart of an egg going around a big circle marked by days of the month. I was asked questions like, ‘frequency of intercourse?’ and ‘method of birth control preferred?’ I did not know what intercourse meant, so I just said ‘a lot’ and I had no idea what methods of birth control existed. No one asked who my ‘partner’ was; no one expressed any dismay, concern, or even interest that a 12-year-old girl needed a pregnancy test.”
Planned Parenthood staff is trained not to report sexual abuse, so instead of offering help, Doe was lectured on how to “be responsible.” No one asked her brother any questions, and she was sent away with a handful of colorful condoms, which she said she later tossed in the garbage.
Two days later, Planned Parenthood called and said the pregnancy test was positive, telling her to come in the following Saturday with a maxi pad and a friend who could drive. The words “pregnant” and “abortion” were never used, she said. Then that night, her period started.
The abuse continued for a couple more months until the family friend moved away and her older brother moved on to abuse two children in the neighborhood instead — two more children who could have been spared sexual abuse if Planned Parenthood had done the right thing.
It wasn’t until three years later during biology class that Doe learned what “intercourse” was, and realized she could never have been pregnant because her abuse involved oral sexual assault.
“I remember the feeling of horror that came over me as I realized I had been scheduled for an abortion,” she wrote. “I remember trying to figure out who would have paid the bill (it must have been my brother) and wondering why I was such a horrible person that those people thought I should have an abortion. Obviously, the worst thing that could ever happen to anyone must have happened to me, so what kind of person did that make me? Bad enough to have to kill a baby, according to what I had just learned in my biology class.”
Unfortunately, what happened to Doe at Planned Parenthood was not a stand-alone incident. Planned Parenthood has a history of covering up for sexual abusers and sending victims back to their assailants.
“The sexual attitude often championed by Planned Parenthood is a serious factor in preventing the discovery of sexual abuse of young people,” said Doe. “Had anyone shown even the least bit of disapproval or concern, I would have divulged the truth and begged for help. Everyone around me seemed to accept as normal that a 12-year-old girl could and should be sexually active. […] And remember, too, who took me to Planned Parenthood – an older brother with an urgent interest in my having an abortion!”
Live Action President Lila Rose began exposing Planned Parenthood’s coverup of sexual abuse when she first went undercover posing as a 13-year-old girl with a 31-year-old boyfriend. Planned Parenthood staff said they didn’t want to know the age of the boyfriend and advised Rose to lie about his age. They even advised her to do so in court, so she could get a judicial bypass around the parental consent law.
More recently, Live Action’s Aiding Abusers seven-part docuseries investigated Planned Parenthood businesses around the country and found eight locations in six different states that were willing to protect sexual abusers. Planned Parenthood staffers were caught on camera helping investigators (posing as sex traffickers) to get away with scheduling abortions for their underage victims. The staffers even told them to sign the paperwork as the girls’ guardians.
Beyond undercover investigations, Planned Parenthood has helped a stepfather continue to rape his 14-year-old stepdaughter, and helped a 56-year-old man continue to abuse a 14-year-old girl. Planned Parenthood committed abortions on the girl and sent her away.
Sometimes the victims outright tell Planned Parenthood they are being abused, but still, nothing is done to help. Denise Fairbanks was brought to Planned Parenthood at age 13 by her abusive father. She told the staff that she was being abused and yet they did nothing to help her. The abuse continued for another year and a half until Fairbanks told a basketball coach, who filed a report. Her father was sent to jail and Fairbanks sued Planned Parenthood, which settled the case out of court.
“Abortion on demand, no questions asked, makes it easier for incest and child abuse to continue,” said Doe. “Abortion for incest victims sounds compassionate, but in practice, it is simply another violent and deceptive tool in the hand of the abuser.”
Doe wants people to realize that abortion does not save anyone from abuse and that incest, rape, and child abuse are “far more common that most pro-lifers want to admit.”
“Abortion defenders need to realize that while abortion may keep one of the results [the baby] of incest and sexual abuse from seeing the light of day, it does absolutely nothing to protect a young girl from continued abuse and in fact aids the abuser in his crime,” said Doe. “[…] On the other hand, pro-lifers need to realize that incest, rape, and child abuse do happen and often with devastating results. In the assembly-line process of abortion on demand, incest-related abortions are seriously underreported.”
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