Excerpts of a letter written today to Nassau County legislators by Catholic League president William Donohue appear below:
I understand the Nassau County legislature is considering legislation that would require clergy to report cases of sexual abuse involving minors. Such legislation makes sense but it is incomplete: it needs to be broadened so that non-clergy adults are included as well.
For example, last spring it was revealed that Planned Parenthood employees agreed to keep secret 91 percent of the reported cases of statutory rape that came to their attention.
Moreover, when Albany considered a mandated sexual abuse bill last June, it was opposed not by the New York State Catholic Conference but by the New York Civil Liberties Union and Family Planning Advocates. They thought it appropriate that the clergy be forced to report such cases but asked for an exemption for those engaged in medical and counseling services. Thus did they reveal their real agenda: get the clergy but give abortion counselors a pass.
Just as disturbing is the story in the October 31 edition of Newsday that mentions the irresponsible comments of presiding officer Judith Jacobs. She lambastes Denis Dillon for suggesting that the sexual abuse bill being considered be extended to abortion providers as well. She charged that Dillon “crossed the line between his personal beliefs and upholding the law.” This comes dangerously close to suggesting that Dillon’s Catholicism is getting in the way of his professional duties.
If the bill being considered is not made inclusive to cover counselors, social workers, abortion providers et al., then it will be seen for what it is: political gamesmanship aimed at getting the clergy. It will also demonstrate the selective interest that lawmakers have in protecting minors from adult predators.