(CNSNews.com) - Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio) said Wednesday she was "heartbroken" over recent controversies involving Planned Parenthood clinics in Ohio and California in which employees of the abortion provider are accused of ignoring or avoiding laws requiring that they report cases of rape.
"As a woman and mother, I am heartbroken when I hear of a young girl being victimized," Schmidt said in a statement. "When these young girls reach out for help from a group that claims to be pro-woman and get none, my feelings turn to outrage.
"This is clearly yet another case where young girls, who need our help, are instead being further victimized," she added.
As Cybercast News Service recently reported, Planned Parenthood clinics in Los Angeles have come under fire from a pro-life activist who videotaped a clinic employee encouraging her to lie about her age to avoid reporting statutory rape.
Lila Rose, an 18-year-old UCLA sophomore posed as a pregnant 15-year-old and told a Planned Parenthood employee her boyfriend was 23. This should have prompted the employee to report the statutory rape to police.
Instead, the employee is heard on hidden video camera telling Rose to "figure out a birth date that works" so that she would appear to be 16, the age of consent in California. "I don't know anything," the employee added.
Last week in Ohio, a girl filed suit against Planned Parenthood alleging that clinic employees in 2004 failed to report to police that she was being raped by her father and that the baby she aborted was his.
The suit alleges that the clinic's failure to report the charges led to another year and a half of abuse.
Planned Parenthood officials maintain that the incidents are anomalies and that the organization's policy is to follow all laws regarding reporting sexual abuse.
"[I]n 99.9 percent of the time, our employees do follow the laws," Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California Kathy Kneer told Cybercast News Service. "It is our policy to completely comply with all reporting laws. We regularly train and retrain our staff on all aspects of reporting laws."
On Monday, Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles threatened to sue Rose if she didn't turn over the tapes and remove them from the Internet, citing California privacy laws which prohibit recording a confidential conversation without the consent of all parties.
The violations of policy and the law could pose big problems for Planned Parenthood, which received federal funding for family planning under Title X of the Public Health Service Act.
"That Planned Parenthood is covering up these cases is an outrage, but that they are using tax-payer funds to do so is equally disturbing," said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List - a network of pro-life donors "dedicated to mobilizing, advancing and representing pro-life women in politics."
In a statement Wednesday, Dannenfelser encouraged Democratic leaders in Congress to investigate Planned Parenthood.
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