Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring says that state health inspectors are not required to report the statutory rape of girls aged 13 to15 if abortion clinic paperwork does not indicate the abuser was a parent or caretaker.
According to Virginia law, anyone who “carnally knows, without the use of force, a child thirteen years of age or older but under fifteen years of age, such person shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony” punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.
But Herring says that the fact of a minor girl’s pregnancy alone, “without additional information or evidence, is not sufficient to create a reason to suspect that the child is an ‘abused or neglected child’” under Virginia’s mandatory reporter statute, which requires certain professionals to report suspected child abuse.
“In my opinion, [if] a VDH [Virginia Dept. of Health] licensing inspector who is a nurse during the course of a hospital inspection learns that a fourteen-year-old girl received services related to her pregnancy, [he or she] is not required to make a report of child abuse unless there is reason to suspect that a parent or other person responsible for the child’s care committed, or allowed to be committed, the unlawful sexual act upon the child,” Herring stated in a Sept. 12 official advisory opinion to State Health Commissioner Marissa Levine.