Editorial Notices That Planned Parenthood ‘Probably Covers Up More Sexual Abuse of Children Than Any Other Institution in the United States’

Wayne Laugesen

Bravo: Colorado Gazette's Wayne Laugesen addresses media's selective outrage

Colorado Springs Gazette editor Wayne Laugesen has penned a must-read editorial in which he takes aim at the nation's selective outrage over child sex abuse.

While the public and law enforcement have rightfully expressed outrage at sex abuse committed by those in the Catholic Church and Penn State, leading abortion provider Planned Parenthood is getting a complete pass from the media, Laugesen claims.

Laugesen then points out how a number of recent stings conducted by pro-life groups Life Dynamics and Live Action have flat-out busted Planned Parenthood actively covering up child rape. And unlike the crimes by the Catholic Church that occurred decades ago, these are atrocities that are happening today.

Little is being done to address the massive child abuse cover-ups at Planned Parenthood, despite the fact that the organization receives more than $1 million per day from taxpayers, according to Laugesen. The Obama administration should immediately begin an investigation, the editor concludes.

Hats off to Laugesen for exposing this glaring double standard. Don't forget to check out his excellent article.


  1. Julie says:

    Wow. When you read the comments below the editorial, you can see that it really does make a difference to people who is doing it. Talk about double standard. As long as you are giving out birth control and abortions, you are A-OK.

  2. Publion says:

    I fully concur with Julie’s observation above. When I read the editorial last night (thanks to the TMR link) I also spent a while reading all the comments and taking a few notes.
    The first thing that strikes me is – again – the different blogging approaches. So many people seem to primarily want to deal with the issue by simply blowing off steam. It’s legitimate – as far as it goes. But for all the noise, there is precious little light shed.
    Again, this is part of the internet world. You could read those comments and if you weren’t of a thoughtful bent could conclude that a) a whole lotta people in the country feel this way and that b) they are right about the issue in all major respects. (And this presumes that the commenters are genuinely expressing themselves and not simply tossing up the stuff just to drive up the numbers for their particular take on things.)
    This ties in with that curious trope that people who disagree with them ‘are being paid’. Where does this come from? Yes, in the post-Karl Rove era it’s surely possible that some special-interests might actually pay a particular person to get onto a thread or an issue and make sure that the party-line is put out there. (I had a couple of thoughts along those lines reading some of the Philly trial comments, frankly.)
    In that sort of case, as best I can make it out, you get comments that include the entire menu of rhetorical tactics designed to distract from the issue or any serious (and critical) thinking about the issue; or to attack the commenter with insinuations or innuendo or outright epithetic name-calling; or to come up with ‘quotations’ that the targeted comment never included and then going after those; and to avoid the main point of the targeted comment and instead merely pick up on a word or phrase and run along imaginatively with just that word or phrase in a sort of outragey riff; and so on.
    Then there is the ‘attack’ claim: if you are saying anything that casts the commenter’s preferred cause or organization(here: PP) in a bad light then the gravamen or substance of your comments don’t matter: you are ‘attacking’ it and therefore (since it is presumed to be totally Good) you must be Evil or at least defending Evil. It’s as if the core concern is not the actions of the organization being looked at, but only how it will look to the public as a result of this critical look.
    And a variant of that is: “Anything to trash” … the particular commenter’s favored organization. In other words, why are you looking critically at this organization I prefer unless you hate it and seek to do it mischief? The idea that concern for significant law-violations has any free-standing status as a legitimate matter of public concern seems completely alien to such mindsets.
    Then there is the double-standard: you can’t judge this organization (PP) the same way you judge that organization (the Church), for any purposes whatsoever. In this case it is Planned Parenthood that is getting a critical look, but we saw the same sort of stuff when SNAP got a critical look (as it continues to get).
    Ditto the rationalizations and minimizations of your preferred organization’s activities such that they shouldn’t be looked at critically. Thus some PP intake-workers (and does it extend to case-workers?)  were merely “skirting the law” – can you imagine if anybody said that about, say, Msgr. Lynn in the Philly case?
    And if they were merely “skirting the law” then they were doing it in a good cause (so that makes it all good).
    And that cause is to “protect victims” – although you can make a good case that a) the victims weren’t ultimately protected (nor were other potential victims) and that b) a good intention is no excuse for a violation of applicable law.
    And then there is a variant: PP didn’t actually abuse anybody – unlike the Church, says one commenter – and that makes it different from the Church that was actually abusing people. But actually, the laws that PP is alleged to have broken weren’t the abuse laws, but the abuse-reporting laws. (And here there is the vital legal question of Ex Post Facto: what exactly did the laws forbid at the time when the alleged violation was committed? This will figure greatly in the Msgr. Lynn appeal, where he was convicted of violating the strictures of a version of a law that was only put into effect years after the incidents for which he was put on trial and were not in existence when the violations with which he was Charged actually occurred.)
    Then there is the trope that there have never been any prosecutions resulting from any of the allegations about PP so that should ‘prove’ that PP never did anything wrong. But that lack of prosecutions may simply reflect the political reluctance of prosecutors to get involved by enforcing the law and conducting serious investigations. (Which is precisely the position of many Church-abuse ‘crisis’ proponents: that for so very long prosecutors did not dare to take on the Church for political reasons.) In the pre-MADD days, prosecutors, courts, and even the police were reluctant to treat drunk-driving as a serious matter. Could it be said that in the pre-MADD days the whole national culture included a sub-‘culture of denial’ in regard to drunk-driving?
    And a variant of that is that this or that prosecutor “chose” not to prosecute, so that ‘proves’ that PP did nothing wrong in the first place. But as I said, prosecutors can choose not to prosecute for many reasons – there is a tradition of wide prosecutorial discretion – and not all of those reasons have to do with no prosecutable crime having been committed.
    Another trope is: What happens at PP is none of your business – it’s between PP and its clients. But if public laws are alleged to have been broken, then it certainly would seem to be the public’s business.
    I would add that if PP had done what it is alleged to have done, and if PP had intramurally considered that in the service its clients and victims applicable laws might be ignored  … if those factors applied, then I would say that justifies asserting that a ‘culture of law-breaking’ was in effect within PP.
    And lastly, there is the trope that the allegations (against PP) stem from an organization that is claimed to be an enemy of or hostile-to PP, and thus that organization’s allegations and ‘investigations’ (and victim stories?) cannot be taken seriously. But if that ‘principle’ is true, then how does it not also apply to the Church and such organizations as SNAP?
    So what I think is interesting here – and in the comments to the editorial even more than the editorial itself – is that we see how an organization that is not-the-Church responds when the focus is put on it. And I think we see that what so many have claimed was the unique and evil deviousness of the Church turns out to be actually an instance of rather wide-spread institutional and organizational dynamics.
    None of what I have said is intended to imply that the Church is demonstrated to be ‘totally innocent’ of all the allegations against it – although I do not here imply that most of what is said about the Church in this abuse-crisis is accurate and true, either.
    Rather, I am simply pointing out that a) when any organization is put into a critical public light then it will instinctively react with defensive caution. And that b) we are seeing that even marquis client/victim service organizations do the same sort of things.
    Yet the commenters so often – as evidenced in the comments to this editorial – apply double-standards to protect their preferred organization by any means necessary and then go galloping off to the keyboard.
    And I would say c) that we are seeing the operational dynamics of the abuse-crisis as they were applied against the Church start to dawn on other organizations that have up til now been immune from such a campaign. They are perhaps beginning to see themselves downwind not only of a formal investigation but also of a Stampede.
    And as I have said, we have to distinguish between an organization i) trying to fend off legitimate investigation and ii) an organization trying to protect itself from a Stampede.
    This is the profound problem that follows from creating Stampedes, especially when the law (civil and/or criminal) is involved: it becomes very hard to distinguish between illegitimate efforts to obstruct justice and legitimate and very understandable efforts to avoid being on the receiving end of a Stampede.
    Without trying to let the Church off a somewhat deserved hook here, I will say that it is precisely by ignoring this vital distinction that the proponents of the ‘crisis’ have managed to keep painting the Church as nothing more than a Guilty Evil caught and trying to avoid punishment.
    If the allegations against PP are to any extent true, then PP is well-advised to adopt some form of the procedures and policies which the Church has adopted over the past ten years.

  3. Vince Morton says:

    No one has the right to abuse….and the worst abuse is that of a minor and vulnerable adults. 
    This is a very complex and deverse sickness in the society at large. 
    The article concerning cover-up with the PP on sexual abuse of a child is most informative and well written.
    As I began no one has the right to abuse not parent, relative, friend. stranger, coach, teacher..NO ONE!!
    There is however, a sense of incest, when a Catholic priest sexually abuses.  The article said these are old cases, not true.  There are many newer cases invoving priest.  The cover up makes this all the more horrible.  There are recent cases of this also.
    Yes the church has put new policies in place and a few bishops are still ignoring them.  It is time the church repents.  It is time mmore bishops are called forth to answer to our courts.
    I am not anti-church.  I am anti abusive authority

  4. Julie says:

    What do you mean it is time the church repents? I do not equate the church with its hierarchy, and members, and including the vile sinful ones. The church was established by Jesus and is perfect. It is we members who are sinful and unworthy, and needing of grace.

  5. Publion says:

    According to the figures from the first and second John Jay Reports, allegationsagainst priests  have fallen off very significantly. And the majority of what new allegations there are still deal with the long-ago.
    And I'd need to know what 'cover-up' means here; especially if it is meant to refer to post-2002 allegations and how they are handled.

  6. jim robertson says:

    To connect being pro choice to the sexual abuse cover up is again a great silliness. Non abusers were resposible in the Church for the cover-up. You don't like any kind of "abuse" great. But the scandal here is about the hierarchy transfering priests to new groups of innocent trusting Catholics.

  7. Julie says:

    Jim, read the editorial. You will see what the real issue is.

  8. jim robertson says:

    Julie why are you or anyother Catholic "sinful and unworthy"? I Know that's the shame sold you by your belief system but still. Shame kills Julie. The Church teaches kids early on to be aware of sinful thoughts etc.  They turn you into your own Gestapo always waterboarding yourself? Is this a sin?  Will this act send me to hell? all that nonsense. So when this scandal hit, the world seems quite happy to see the moral judgement makers hoisted on their own petard. Be easy Julie none of us asked to be born we"re all passangers on tthe same bus.

  9. Julie says:

    Jim, It's OK. I am not overwhelmed with guilt or anything. I am pretty happy. I accept that I am imperfect and a sinner. I don't beat myself up because of my Catholic upbringing. When I strayed from the Catholic Church, I lived an unhealthy lifestyle with a lot of unhealthy thoughts. Jim, You are OK too. :)

  10. Publion says:

    I am a lifelong Catholic. It has always seemed to me that the ‘sheep pictures’ so familiar to Christians and Catholics do not really capture the reality of being a Christian. Nor do I think that the Church – in her essential doctrine, rather than the too-easily-ladled-out quotidian pastoral material at the parish level – has declared the ‘sheep-ness’ of believers to be the whole Picture.
    ‘JR’s mention of “passengers” raises that issue again and I’d like to comment on that point.
    There is certainly enough reason for a non/former-Catholic or Christian to think in terms of ‘sheep’ or “passengers”. Probably a lot of Catholics think first of ‘sheep’ or “passengers” too.
    But to me, it has seemed that being a Christian makes one much more of a Master and Commander (thinking here of the 2003 movie): we are each in command of our personal vessel, which is our direct and personal responsibility while we are each also thus members in a larger ‘fleet’ and participants in both a) the Mission of that fleet and b) committed to the general structure and Shape of going about things that are the standard operating procedures of that fleet (to think in terms of the movie, that ‘fleet’ is the Royal Navy).
    With God as – if I may – the Sovereign, the King who is toasted every evening in the officer’s mess after the meal , each of us as the Master and Commander of our individual vessel is responsible for carrying out our general orders: keeping the ship and crew (our talents and complex human self) mission-capable, going about the business of staying afloat, remaining competent, and then carrying out the overall Orders for our particular mission with all the skill and dedication and intense concentration of skill and discipline and courage and initiative that we can.
    So in that vision of what it means to be a Christian – and a Catholic – there is so very much always remaining to be done, and life remains an vital and demanding and yet rewarding ‘career’ and even adventure.
    It is not always easy. As John McKenzie, S.J., the scripture scholar, said in his book The Two-Edged Sword: there are times when you are up against it and you have to decide in utterly clear terms: do I trust in God here and now or do I just say No to the whole proposition?
    This is not a faith for the half-hearted or – to use an American reference – the “summer-soldier” or the “sunshine patriot”. In season and out season we must carry on. I recall Alfred Thayer Mahan’s description of the of the Channel blockade fleet in the wars with Napoleon as “those far-distant, storm-beaten ships upon whom which the Grand Army never looked, yet stood between it and the domination of the world”.  
    And, unlike any limited earthly sovereign, God can read hearts and intimately knows each of His children (and Commanders).
    Or again: being a Christian might be likened to being a Resistance agent in Occupied Europe: we know there is a London, although the radios don’t always work, the weather interferes with the transmissions, the code book gets lost or we decode improperly, or the looked-for air-drop of supplies doesn’t show up quite when we really wanted it to. Yet there is the commission to carry-on and the awareness that somehow each of us, in our little patch, is ‘known’ and ‘recognized’ and ‘appreciated’ by ‘London’.
    But ‘sheep’ we are not. Nor are we ever Alone.
    The Church is the realm in which we live and move and have our being. The Vatican – like the Admiralty in the Napoleonic era or any other era – may not always come across with the best strategy or orders. But this is the life into which we are baptized and – truly – commissioned.
    My thoughts on the matter.

  11. Julie says:

    Yes. I am curious that people say the Catholic Church is unhealthy regarding sex and that it subjugates women. I went away from the church, drank to excess, became a single mother, was preyed upon, taken advantage of, suffered from depression, etc. Inside the church I found Christ's very healing love, and the idea that it is OK for me to be a woman, and I can recognize and appreciate my particular gifts, even though the secular world may not. Within the church, I am more OK with myself and accepting of myself. Believe me, the world is not kind to women, especially shy and vulnerable women who can't always fight for themselves. I don't have to let men use me, I don't have to agree with dismembering babies inside their mother's wombs. I can be a sensitive woman who wants to serve people safely inside the church. Not outside though. God, I was taken advantage of. My life was a mess. Jim, I can't do it without Jesus. I searched a lot, and found that His presence touches me so much in the Catholic Mass that I am moved to tears sometimes. I had not found Him in other churches, is the thing, though not for lack of trying.

  12. jim robertson says:

    Anchors away!
    I guess I feel your's is a little like it's an us against them philosophy. Just a little.
    I think life's more like Pogo Possum: " We have met the enemy and he is us!"
    My belief system is bit more Huxley-esque. "the Doors of Perception" i.e. mescalin-esque. I'm a child of the '60's.
    I don't recall refering to human beings (veritable universes in ourselves) as sheep. I don't tend to think like that. Even about Catholics. Having been one.
    An old gay joke is the greeting: "Hello sailor, new in town?" I won't use it on you; but I will say I have to dash because" the fleets in."

  13. Julie says:

    Jim, I used to be pro-abortion and very pro-birth control. Desperate after two illegitimate children, I had Norplant placed in my arm. After five years I had the rods removed. I then had horrible, constant pelvic pain and an x-ray revealed that one of my ovaries was the size of a baseball and the other was also enlarged. The doctor really coudn't find a physical reason for the constant pain however. I had surgery to remove slight endometriosis, but that didn't kill the pain. I married and had two more children and the pain finally left. Also — the only reason I did not abort my 2 oldest children is lack of funds. I see how loving, intelligent, responsible, thoughtful they are and how they are liking life, and I picture them in my mind next to the torn, discarded little bodies they would have ended up being had I had the money or if Missouri Medicaid would have paid for abortion and I am horrified at the thought. My life is so much better now and abortion wasn't the wonderful answer I thought it would have been, in the long run. I am embracing Jesus and His church now after taking some pretty wrong turns.

    • jim robertson says:

      Life can indeed be hard. Finding your path is important and i wish you nothing but well.
      Missouri again? Why does Missouri keep poping up?

  14. Publion says:

    To 'Julie' I can only say, by the way,  that I don't mean to limit the role of 'Master and Commander' to males in my imagery; there is a maxim – possibly attributable to Aquinas: "omnis comparatio claudicat", which means that all analogies are incomplete and rarely do they ever completely capture what they are trying to shed light upon. And in the Resistance imagery, there is plenty of historical support for the role of women Resistance agents during the Occupation (the Brit SOE sent a very sizable number of female operatives over to conduct ops and they suffered much and accomplished much).
    In regard to 'JR's comment about Huxley: that's also a useful way of looking at things, in my opinion. But I would also say that Huxley's insight is congruent with the Master-and-Commander image: a vital part of command is overcoming the natural inertia that affects all human beings even when they are involved in Great Tasks. All the more reason for self-mastery and self-discipline and also for a rather ruthless honesty with oneself and one's performance. In the movie, recall how the Captain kept the crew training at the guns when there were no enemy ships around, so that when the Moment for 'action' came, they would already know what they were doing and could do their job well. Failure to address that natural human inertia can only lead to significant unhappy experiences as the voyage continues.
    I didn't ascribe the 'sheep' bit to JR, but I stand by my thought – having sat through my share of sermons at Mass – that play upon the 'sheep' image; and there are more than enough images of Christ the Shepherd in painting and sculpture and such throughout the Church's history.
    The riff on sailors and – somehow – gays is what it is and there it is.

    • jim robertson says:

      Inertia can also be a symptom of something deeper: depression. Yet given we have but one life: why not take it easy. Easy does do it. And since the Protestant work ethic along with Catholic hostility toward birth control may in fact destroy the world; doing nothing don't look so bad.

  15. jim robertson says:

    Julie, again good luck to you. In response to the last post you made in the now closed section.  I don't see myself as attacking Catholics here. But since you do see it that way. I 'm sorry .

  16. Julie says:

    Thank you Jim. And good luck to you. :)

  17. IllinoisMan says:

    I recently read Fr. Paul Marx's book Faithful for Life.  Fr. Marx details how little support his pro-life efforts received from Church leaders.  If I remember correctly, Fr. Marx was silenced by St. John's Abbey in Collegeville because he criticized Planned Parenthood.  St. John's Abbey is very infamous for widespread abuse going back decades.  The death culture of Planned Parenthood permeates many a Catholic institution.  The Catholic Church as an institution really is rotten. 

    • jim robertson says:

      Man, no offense but I have to laugh when Catholics refer to Planned Parenthood as "death culture". Isn't a religion that eats it's diety and believes in a life after death the real "death culture"???


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