The Washington Post today contains a story about the Spokane police serving the local Planned Parenthood with a warrant to obtain fetal tissue from an abortion obtained by a fifteen-year-old. The DNA sample taken from the tissue will be used to convict or exonerate a man who is accused of statutory rape and who has been identified has the father of the aborted child.
Use of DNA evidence obtained from fetal tissue is common in cases involving claims of rape. Carr v. State, 911 So.2d 589 (Miss.App.,2005) (fifteen year-old raped by 36-year-old), and People v. White, 211 A.D.2d 982, 621 N.Y.S.2d 728 (N.Y.A.D. 3 Dept.,1995) are two examples of this fact. In Commonwealth v. Sasville, 35 Mass.App.Ct. 15, 22-29, 616 N.E.2d 476 (1993) a rape case was dismissed because the prosecutor authorized destruction of fetal tissue that the Defendant claimed would have exonerated him.
In 2005, Kansas enacted a statute that requires abortion providers to preserve the fetal remains from any abortion performed on a girl under the age of fourteen and submit the tissue to law enforcement.
“Any physician who performs an abortion on a minor who was less than 14 years of age at the time of the abortion procedure shall preserve, in accordance with rules and regulations adopted by the attorney general pursuant to this section, fetal tissue extracted during such abortion. The physician shall submit such tissue to the Kansas bureau of investigation or to a laboratory designated by the director of the Kansas bureau of investigation.”