When is a partner not a partner?

When is a partner not a partner?

Yesterday, an Indiana judge ruled that Planned Parenthood has to turn over medical records on 84 underage girls who may have been pregnant before turning 14. In Indiana the age of consent is 14, thus for them to be pregnant means that they were raped and molested, statutorily or otherwise.

What struck me was the way the Associated Press chose to phrase it.

Planned Parenthood tried to stop the seizure, arguing that investigators were on a ‘‘fishing expedition,” possibly to identify the partners of sexually active 12- and 13-year-olds. None of the 84 patients has received an abortion, according to Planned Parenthood.

Pregnant 12-year-old girls don’t have sexual partners; they have molesters or rapists. With this reasoning, you may as well call the pervert priests who molested all those boys their partners. But of course, when it comes to the “sacrament” of abortion, all rhetoric and logic bows in service to the cause of justifying it. A women’s “right to choose” comes before all considerations, even protecting children from molesters.

It’s good for business, don’t you know?

  • Setting aside the broader points about Planned Parenthood Perfidy, Chapter 415076 and the Blessed Sacrament in the Catholic Church of Perversion:

    Actually, Dom, there’s a perfectly good reason to use the word “partners.” If the girl is 12 or 13 there’s a reasonably good chance the father is that age too (as it is that he’s 18 or 30). This is obviously immoral in 100 ways, but it’s neither obviously molestation or rape.

  • Not only should Planned Parenthood have to reveal the names of anyone over the minority age who engaged in sex acts with a minor youth but the Massachusetts Department of Public Health HIV/AIDS Bureau should have to inform parents and legal authorities when a minor youth tests positive for the HIV infection. This information is kept secret at present. Yet, Kevin Cranston, the director of the HIV/AIDS Bureau, stated in an interview with Ethan Jacobs for a BayWindows article:“HIV in youth on rise”(July 10,2003):“Young gay men are at particular risk for contracting HIV infection when they seek out partners in the adult community. The higher rate of HIV infection among older gay men in Massachusetts, many of whom Cranston says are experiencing “prevention fatigue” , are less careful about practicing safer sex, puts youth at greater risk for contracting the virus when they choose adult partners.” The HIV/AIDS Bureau personnel certainly know that if they don’t tell parents that their child has the HIV infection, then the parents can’t ask legal authorities to investigate into who gave their child the HIV infection. If the “partner” is above the age of a minor, then he should be charged with statutory rape, according to the laws of Massachusetts.
    When I asked the Attorney General’s office how many names of ” adult gay men with ‘prevention fatigue’ were reported to them and if parents had a right to know that their minor youth had the HIV infection, I was told by the Asst. Atty. Gen., Kurt Schwartz, that I would have to ask the Mass. Dept. of Public Health these questions because they are the ones who have jurisdiction over these policies, not the Atty. General’s Office. The Mass.Dept. of Public Health has stated that they will not tell anyone. They leave it for the minor youth to report the incident.
    I guess the Atty. General’s Office has no authority in this matter. They seem to only get involved when they suspect a Catholic priest!

  • “None of the 84 patients has received an abortion, according to Planned Parenthood.”

    Funny how they’ll disavow the virtue of their core competency when it’s their fanny in the frying pan.

  • Then Indiana is the exception; most states’ statutory-rape laws have “Romeo and Juliet” exceptions, which require the “rapist” to be X years (2 or 3 usually) older than the victim. And for good reason.

  • “…for good reason”???

    Victor, are you saying that states do not have a legitimate interest in preventing minor children from having intercourse?

    Do you also say, then, that states have no legitimate reason to proscribe marriage by minors?  If not, why not?

    No, regardless of the age level of the person doing the persuasion, we as a society have a tremendous interest in preserving the innocence of our children.  Just because the predator is the same age as the victim doesn’t make it less an abomination.

    If throwing out perfectly good food is a sin, it makes no difference whether it’s done by its owner or by a passerby.  It’s still wrong.

  • I knew that aside would get me in trouble. Understand that everything I am saying, I am saying as a matter of law and philosophy of law. Not morals per se.

    First of all, as a plain matter of fact, every state that has a “Romeo & Juliet exception” to its statutory rape laws also has a minimum marriage age. So I frankly don’t see the connection you’re drawing, or why the former either should argue against the latter or as a matter of fact undermines it.

    Of course, the state has a legitimate interest in protecting childhood innocence. But it’s far greater when the exploiter is an adult than a child of the same age. What these “Romeo & Juliet exceptions” codify is the sound judgement that while kids will be kids, they are vulnerable to adult manipulation. In fact, that’s the entire logic of the crime of “statutory” rape, contrasted with “forcible” rape. While consent is an absolute defense against the latter, “statutory” rape codifies the sound judgment that children are so vulnerable to adult manipulation, particularly authority figures, that they are incapable of consent. And it codifies as a legal fiction that what may look like consent really isn’t, in order to take the whole matter of “child consent” off the table.

    All this is just not a factor when the other party is the same age. I don’t think you can automatically and categorically say that one party is a predator and the other prey in that latter situation. I have no doubt that this is so in some cases, of course, but the law deals in categories.

    As for the fact of same-age fornication, of course it’s immoral. But that doesn’t therefore mean it should be illegal. Far less prosecuted as rape, which is what these exceptions shield children from, and they reflect the sound judgment that trampy behavior in high schools can and should be dealt with by means other than the law.

  • When I was in nursing school a few years ago, I used to go to PPFA’s website for information occasionally on women’s health stuff, but also just cuz I had an interest in abortion. Their word choice, deliberate of course, has always given me the creeps – eg, as above, “partners,” and also referring to adolescent females as “women.”

    The “partner” is of course usually an older male, often several years older. In one of my pedi classes, I was part of a group doing a case study presentation in which a teenage girl and her 21-year-old “boyfriend” found themselves in the family way. The class just kind of looked at me blankly when I raised the issue of statutory rape and talked about the legal aspects involved for health care providers. (I cleared it w the professor first that this was valid to discuss.) We’ve become so used to the idea of adolescent sexuality (the prevailing attitude in my nursing class was, “they’re gonna do it anyways, let’s just give them the condoms”), that issues like statutory rape, age of consent, etc is completely foreign to most 20-something adults (granted, I was a 30-something).

    Best to all –

  • The problem, Victor, is that you see “law” and “morals” as somehow separate.

    We Catholics believe that human law is an understanding of Natural Law, which itself is derivative from Divine Law.

    Your argument that (seemingly) only adults can coerce or manipulate children, and that only regarding adult interaction is “consent” an issue is disingenuous at best.

    If a minor were offering a contract to another minor, even were the contract deemed to be valid in se, the party signing the contract would be presumed unable to give consent, and the contract would be declared null and void.

    Your argument that laws are designed primarily to protect children from adults presumes that it is only the adult-child RELATIONSHIP that is contrary to the state’s interest; in fact, the state’s interest is that the minor child be protected from the ACTION, not one specific perpetrator of said action.

  • “we as a society have a tremendous interest in preserving the innocence of our children”

    Sorry, Father, but no, we don’t.  We should, but we don’t.  On the contrary, we make sure they lose it early.

    BTW, Victor is right; sinful does not equal criminal.  Nor does boy=predator and girl=victim – the business about girls being made of “sugar and spice and everything nice” is a hoax.

  • It is definitely time to prosecute as rape/molestation, any sexual activity under the age of 16.  The Milton Academy comes to mind. And,yes, girls should be prosecuted as well.  This would be a great tool for children to protect/punish their children. You’d only need 1 prosecution per Middle School to set the example.

  • “the business about girls being made of “sugar and spice and everything nice” is a hoax.”

    Hi, DJ:

    Maybe, but often girls who act out sexually as adolescents (and adults for that matter) do so because they’ve had some sort of nasty thing in their past, either abuse, neglect, no Dad in the picture, or the like. I realize you didn’t say this, but it’s not because they are just “really sexual.” I’m sure that for most girls/women who engage in sex casually or with strangers, it feels more like someone is using them as a toilet than a satisfying experience. But it’s what they know, or think it’s all they’re capable of achieving.

    We would probably agree that females are more in need of protection than males in this regard, because we stand to lose so much more than guys from uncommitted sex, so women actually *benefit* from traditional values/religion, not suffer from it, which is the popular perception among lots of people, from baby-boomers on down. 

    Regards –

  • Father wrote:

    We Catholics believe that human law is an understanding of Natural Law, which itself is derivative from Divine Law.

    But not even Thomas Aquinas thought that positive human law was a perfect univocal reflection of either natural law or divine law. In fact he specifically said (it’s in the Treatise on Law) that it does not belong to the law to repress all vices, saying among other things that laws that are too contrary to a people’s mores will cause them to hate the law. My saying that some moral judgments should not be reflected in the law (which is not quite the same thing as ” ‘law’ and ‘morals’ [are] somehow separate”) is well within the intellectual traditions of the Church.

    I’m not saying only adults can manipulate children as a matter of fact (in fact, I specifically said the contrary). I am saying that only with adults is the maturity gap so great that one can meaningfully and coherently make a categorical judgment involving the necessarily blunt instrument of secular law that “any adult-child sex involves manipulation and not free consent” (that quoted sentence is the approximate moral basis for statutory rape law). The statement “child-child sex involves manipulation and not free consent” is just not categorically true, though it’s obviously true in some cases. It might involve other vices, but the crime of rape centers around consent. Yes, child-child contracts are generally invalid for these very legal-competence- and maturity-related reasons. But they are null and void. The two children signing them do not otherwise commit a crime.

    Thomas wrote:
    It is definitely time to prosecute as rape/molestation, any sexual activity under the age of 16.

    I see. And who exactly is supposed to lodge these complaints, since you say that both parties should be prosecuted? If I tell the police “I was raped, robbed, mugged, etc.” I am usually not acknowledging a crime of my own. And what level of cooperation do you think parents or other adult family will give the police should they find their 15-year-old and someone else’s in bed together? And keep in mind that this is the commonest type of adult third party who finds out. You really imagine that parents will turn in either child if it means turning in their own for a jail sentence? (These sorts of practical considerations are exactly why these “Romeo & Juliet exceptions” to statutory rape laws exist. And why general laws against fornication either don’t exist or have fallen into desuetude.)

  • I just want to contest the assertion that a 12/13 year old girl was as likely impregnated by her own age group as not.  For the most part, the teenage mothers I knew growing up (and there were a few) were pregnant by boyfriends at least 2-3 years their senior.  That’s the difference between a sixteen and thirteen year old, which is quite a pace, you could say.