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Weekly Ministry Focus
Controversy ignites over 12-year-old's abortion
When a 12-year-old girl was brought to Bakersfield's
FPA abortion chamber last week, law enforcement officials
seemed reluctant to respond. Under California's statutory
rape law (Penal Code section 261.5), a crime had been
committed, as evidenced by the child's pregnancy. But
apparently this law is not being fully enforced in Kern
Terri Palmquist was told about the girl by "Celina," who
came to the LifeHouse after being inside FPA. Terri contacted
the Bakersfield Police Department, but the BPD dispatcher
(Cathy) informed Terri that she would not send an officer.
After several calls, Cathy attempted to placate Terri by saying
"the clinic is complying with the law."
Terri then contacted a KGET TV-17 reporter, who was
shocked to hear about the 12-year-old's abortion, remarking
"I didn't think that it was legal for a 12-year-old to have an
abortion." The police responded more professionally to the
reporter, indicating that an investigation would be conducted.
Police finally arrived several hours later, but not to
interview the girl. They escorted another young woman out
of the abortion center, apparently to help her avoid being
videotaped. Then the officers left without attempting to
contact the 12-year-old girl.
Sgt. Gary Rhodes of the Kern County Sheriff's
Department eventually investigated the case, apparently
because the girl does not live inside the Bakersfield city limits.
"This is not a criminal matter," Sgt. Rhodes said,
stating that the person who impregnated the girl was not an
adult. Sgt. Rhodes chose not to question the boy who
allegedly impregnated the girl.
Penal Code section 261.5 outlaws sex between two
minors in addition to sex between an adult and minor. In the
1998 case In re T.A.J., the First District Court of Appeals held
that the statutory rape law is enforceable against a minor. But
Sgt. Rhodes defended his decision not to pursue the case by
asserting "The D.A. will not file charges in circumstances like
Deputy District Attorney Robert Barton said that the
Kern County District Attorney's office does not ignore
statutory rape when both parties are minors, but he explained
that if the ages of the boy and the girl are less than three years
apart, most people would not find the boy guilty (even though
he is guilty according to the law).
Nevertheless, Barton expressed interest in handling such
cases with probation, even if they are not "prosecutable." Any
further sexual encounters between the boy and girl would be
handled as probation violations. Barton also said officers
should interview the boy as a part of their investigation of a
statutory rape case.
Celina said that the woman who brought the 12-year-old
girl to the abortion chamber (probably the girl's mother)
mentioned the girl's age when the abortion chamber staff
asked what birth control method the girl would use after the
abortion. The woman said that she wanted the girl to be on
While waiting to be called in for the abortion, the girl
seemed to be irritated by the woman who brought her.
According to Celina, the woman tried to get the girl to look at
magazines, saying "we've got to do something to get this off
our minds," but the girl tossed the magazines aside.
Sgt. Rhodes said that in all of his years with the Kern
County Sheriff's Department, he could not recall another
case which began as a report from an abortion facility.
But minor girls are seen entering the FPA abortion
chamber every week.
Life Dynamics, Inc. has recently exposed the nationwide
scandal of abortionists failing to report statutory rape and
other forms of abuse. For more information, go to
www.childpredators.com, or www.lifedynamics.com.
More news from Weekly Ministry Focus Vol. 3 No. 3
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