The June 17 editorial in the New York Times on the sexual abuse of minors was aptly titled, “The Children Deserve Justice.” Too bad the editorial board doesn’t really believe it.
The editorial gave half-baked kudos to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo for pressing a new measure that would require college coaches to report child sex abuse (the Times said he could have done more). It also praised New York State Assemblywoman Margaret Markey for proposing a bill that would allow an accuser 10 years after turning 18 to press charges (instead of the current five-year period); it would also allow a one-year window for alleged victims to file suit in civil claims in cases where they were previously barred from doing so.
The Times was right to say that Cuomo could be doing more: he could support mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse to apply to all professionals, including counselors. It’s not the bishops who are holding back this needed change: it’s Family Planning Advocates, the lobbying arm of Planned Parenthood, and the New York Civil Liberties Union. Why? Because Planned Parenthood counselors learn of cases of statutory rape all the time, and don’t want to be blanketed with mandatory reporting. But don’t look for the Times to press for this change.
And don’t expect the Times to tell the truth about the Markey bill: her bill doesn’t cover public schools (under state law, public school victims have only 90 days to press charges, and the Markey bill does nothing to change it).
Protecting Planned Parenthood and public school employees is obviously more important to the Times than the justice kids deserve.