New York State does not have a law that mandates the clergy to report sex abuse crimes to the authorities. This has led some public persons to criticize Catholic bishops for the exemption. Just last week, Westchester District Attorney Jeanine Pirro blasted the new norms on sex abuse that were approved by the U.S. bishops and called for new state legislation that would add the clergy to the list of mandatory reporters of child abuse.
Catholic League president William Donohue spoke to this issue today:
“I am writing to every member of the New York State legislature urging him to mandate all professionals to report instances of the sexual abuse of minors to the authorities. In doing so I will also address the reason why a bill of this nature has been stymied by Planned Parenthood and its allies.
“When a comprehensive bill on this issue was put forth last June, it was put on hold because of opposition from Family Planning Advocates, the lobbying arm of Planned Parenthood, and the New York Civil Liberties Union. They objected to having abortion providers report instances of statutory rape to the authorities. And with good reason: a recent study showed that 91 percent of Planned Parenthood staff members currently do not report such cases to the authorities.
“People like Jeanine Pirro are more than dishonest when they suggest that it is the bishops who are holding things up—they are literally giving cover to those who work in the abortion industry.
“It is time for everyone to put his cards on the table. If the real issue is protecting minors, then everyone should be blanketed by the same law. But if the real issue is to ‘get the priests,’ then the exemption for the abortion industry will shamefully continue. It is time to pull the mask off the Pirros of this world and force them to come clean.”