Georgia Child Protection Act Protects Minors from Abuse and Predation, Legislators Say
By Americans United for Life
Thursday, February 24th, 2011

“Our children must be protected from predatory and abusive behavior,” said former Georgia State Senator Rusty Paul.

ATLANTA, GA. (02-23-11) – Americans United for Life Georgia representative Rusty Paul commended two state legislators who are calling on their colleagues to pass “The Child Protection Act,” as a necessary safeguard children to protect Georgia’s children from physical and sexual abuse.

Paul, former Georgia state senator, said that in light of the release of undercover videos shot in Planned Parenthood facilities across the country in which clinic workers appear to turn a blind eye to sex trafficking of minors, the time was right to act.

Rep. Donna Sheldon (District 105) and Sen. Josh McKoon (District 29) introduced the Georgia bill for the purpose of ensuring that any medical facility or provider does not turn a blind eye to sexual crimes committed against young girls and are not facilitating further abuse by failing to report and instead returning the child to an already abusive situation.  The bill will advance this goal by mandating that all clinic employees (not just licensed medical providers) report suspected abuse and removing any discretion in reporting.

“The bill will ensure that all medical clinics and medical personnel report all suspected sexual abuse of children, are providing any potential evidence of such abuse to state authorities, and are not assisting minors or their abusers to circumvent Georgia’s parental consent law,” said Sen. McKoon.

According to Paul, the bill also requires that certain forensic and other evidence be turned over to the appropriate enforcement agency and creates a right to sue a clinic or others who fail to report suspected abuse.  “The bill also allows parents to sue, for example, if anyone assists or coerces a minor into undergoing an abortion without the parental involvement currently required under Georgia law,” said Rep. Sheldon.  “But it targets any situation where instances of abuse are suspected.”
“We must ensure that anyone who suspects that a child is being abused physically or sexually takes steps to protect that child by reporting their concerns to the proper authorities,” said Rep. Sheldon. “This bill will do that.”

AUL’s Vice President of Government Affairs Daniel McConchie will be in Atlanta Thursday and available to speak with reporters about this bill. He can be reached at (312) 933-2477.

For more information on the “Child Protection Act,” go to:
http://www.aul.org/legislative-resources/order-model-legislation/

To track the legislation’s progress throughout the session, check out AUL’s Legislative Watch for the bill’s current status at:
http://www.aul.org/legislative-resources/legislative-tracking/

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