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Why Law Enforcement Supports Proposition 4

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Four years after their 12-year-old daughter was impregnated by a 24-year-old man who took her for a secret abortion to cover up his crime, a San Bernardino County couple found out what happened and reported it to police. Without the parents' involvement, the abuser would never have been brought to justice.

Sgt. Tom Yarrington, the police officer who investigated the case, says if California had a law requiring abortion providers to inform families when underage girls seek their services, the girl in this case would have been spared further abuse. "The biggest difference is that the abuse would have ceased immediately," Yarrington said in a published interview. "Second of all, she would have been receiving counseling immediately, which is going to help her through the healing process and allow her to move on with her life."

Yarrington has spent 17 years working as a police officer in San Bernardino County, and has investigated more than 1000 sex crime cases, most involving minors. The veteran investigator said family notification for minors seeking abortions would help both law enforcement and victims. "It give us better investigative leads, allows us to locate more victims and allows us to provide earlier intervention-not only to provide the help that the child needs to make it through this time, but it is also going to assist us in stopping further abuse from occurring to that victim and, potentially, other victims."

"If we can't help right away because the information isn't disclosed and she has to carry that burden on her own, that's a very difficult, heavy burden for someone to carry," said Yarrington. "A 12-year-old is not mentally prepared to deal with not only the medical complications that can occur, but the mental anguish."

In Santa Clara County, a similar case came to light in August in a California Supreme Court ruling: a sexual 39-year-old predator impregnated a 13-year-old girl, forced her to undergo a late-term abortion, then continued to molest her for another seven months until the child's mother discovered the abuse and contacted police.

The use of secret abortions by sexual predators to hide their crimes explains why law-enforcement officials across California support Proposition 4, which has been endorsed by district attorneys Tony Rackauckas of Orange County, Rod Pacheco of Riverside County, Robert Holzapfel of Glenn County, John Poyner of Colusa County, Ron Calhoun of Kings County, Edward Jagels of Kern County, and Gerald Benito of Shasta County. In addition, sheriffs Dennis Downum of Calaveras County, Bob Brooks of Ventura County, Ed Prieto of Yolo County and James Mele of Tuolumne are urging Californians to vote yes on Proposition 4.


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Contact: Margi Pearson -- (619) 435-5014 or (619) 885-2655

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