Currently in Illinois, only licensed health care professionals at health care centers like Planned Parenthood are required to report the sexual abuse of a child to state authorities. What this means is Planned Parenthood staff including volunteers, front-desk staff (which often willingly offer medical guidance), and other non-licensed office staff are not required to report child sexual abuse when they find out that a child is being abused.
There is a proposed law, HB 2093 that would expand who is a mandated reporter of child sexual abuse to include every employee or volunteer of any organizations that provides or refers for reproductive health care. This more expansive definition of who should be required to report child sexual abuse is consistent with most other states that I have looked into.
Why then is Planned Parenthood opposing this common-sense measure that requires that all Planned Parenthood staff report child sex abuse when made aware of it? Planned Parenthood writes on their website:
HB 2093 requires office staff and volunteers of organizations that provide reproductive health care or sex education to be mandated reporters of child abuse. All doctors, nurses and teachers are already mandated reporters. Therefore, these organizations are already legally required to make reports. This bill creates redundant regulations that have the potential to overload the Department of Children and Family Services.
The Planned Parenthood page at the top clearly expresses their opinion about the child abuse reporting proposal:
Vote NO on…HB 2093.
While Planned Parenthood is right that doctors and nurses are already mandated reporters of child sexual abuse, the Planned Parenthood non-medically licensed staff can currently choose to legally ignore child sexual abuse — and they support their ability to do so! I read the entire HB 2093 bill, in no way does it create “redundant regulations” as Planned Parenthood alleges. In fact, it doesn’t change how child sexual abuse is reported at all, it just expands who must report. On this point, Planned Parenthood is flat-out lying — read the bill yourself.
Planned Parenthood’s statement says that the bill has the “potential to overload the Department of Children and Family Services.” Overload the department by reporting child sexual abuse? If there is anything that the Department of Children and Family Services should care about, it should be addressing reported child sexual abuse.
Planned Parenthood’s opposition to common-sense child sexual abuse reporting requirements is absolutely shocking to me. It shows that Planned Parenthood has an institutional problem with child sexual abuse reporting and not just a training issue.
At Live Action we have recorded over a dozen times on video, Planned Parenthood staff failing to properly handle cases of suspected child abuse. See Mona Lisa and Trafficking investigation. Planned Parenthood has played those events off as training issues or isolated incidents. Their opposition to HB 2093 is clear, institutional support for a system that doesn’t do its best to protect young abused children. Since protecting abused young children is not at the top of Planned Parenthood’s priority list, they should be stripped of their $363 million dollars in annual federal funds and all should be warned — they are unsafe for children both born and unborn.
Now NARAL’s Illinois affiliate after also initially opposing the child sex abuse reporting bill changed course:
After initially opposing the bill, the Illinois Choice Action Team changed course in an email to supporters, saying, “In response to comments, feedback, and our own concerns regarding bill 2093, we at the Illinois Choice Action Team have removed our name from the Reproductive Health and Access Act coalition of opposing organizations for Illinois House bill 2093. We understand the bill context however, when it comes to the issue of reporting child abuse we would rather any case seen be reported and so we are withdrawing our name.”
The ACLU, strong backers of abortion, though continues to oppose the child sex abuse reporting bill saying:
Another measure, House Bill 2093, expands mandated reporting of child abuse – already required of every licensed health care professional in the state – to cover every employee or volunteer of any organizations that provides or refers for reproductive health care – creating cumbersome and unnecessary bureaucracy and training requirements for non-profit organizations and diverting time and money from patient care.