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Mom loses appeal against Planned Parenthood

August 17, 2015

A mom who sued Planned Parenthood after her 17-year-old daughter used another person’s ID and posed as an 18-year-old to get an abortion has no private cause of action to enforce abortion statutes. Planned Parenthood also owed no duty to the mother under the circumstances, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.

Angelique Lockett obtained an abortion after posing as an 18-year-old girl and using an ID furnished by her boyfriend’s mother, Cathy McGee, who also posed as Angelique’s mother and paid for the procedure. The record indicates Angelique resembled the girl whose ID she used, and Planned Parenthood witnesses said they had no reason to doubt her identification.

The girl’s mother, Lanetra Lockett, was unaware her daughter was pregnant or seeking an abortion, according to the record in Angelique Lockett and Lanetra Lockett v. Planned Parenthood of Indiana, Inc., and Cathy McGee, 45A05-1407-CT-340. Lanetra Lockett claimed her daughter could not have given informed consent because of her age and that the procedure was done without parental consent required under the statute. She also claims negligence against the defendants.

This matter previously came before the Court of Appeals; judgment in favor of Planned Parenthood was affirmed and judgment in favor of McGee was likewise reversed. That opinion was withdrawn, the panel writes in a footnote, because the facts were considered under the Medical Malpractice Act. But Planned Parenthood is not a qualified health care provider under the act.  

 “Based on our examination of the statute, we conclude that the legislature intended the provisions of Indiana Code chapter 16-34-2 to protect the general public from persons who, without the professional training and judgment to make the necessary medical determinations ... would perform illegal abortions,” Judge L. Mark Bailey wrote for the panel.

“Under these facts and circumstances, where the negligence the Locketts allege is a failure to detect Angelique’s lies, Planned Parenthood has established the defense of equitable estoppel, the Locketts have failed to raise a genuine issue of material fact, and Planned Parenthood is entitled to summary judgment on Angelique’s claims,” Bailey wrote.

Claims against McGee may proceed, even though she apparently has not been served, the panel concluded. “We think the court’s order granting ‘Judgment for Defendants’ and dismissing the complaint entirely was premature and therefore erroneous. We accordingly remand this case to the trial court for further proceedings with respect to McGee.”

 

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