The unnamed 14-year-old, 22 weeks pregnant, was held by staffer Andrea Smasne at the facility against the wishes of her father and against police directives. Because the baby’s father was a 20-year-old under police investigation for sexual misconduct, the pregnancy was considered statutory rape, meaning her father was responsible for her.
But Smasne saw it differently. The staffer continued to refuse the father access to his daughter, claiming the girl was afraid of him, until Officer Wayne Meyer intervened. When he asked Smasne to release the girl, he was told she was "emancipated."
I then asked Smasne how old the patient was. She advised the female patient was 14 yoa. I then asked why they would tell the father he had to leave if his juvenile age daughter was there. At that point Smasne stated that once the juvenile is pregnant, the juvenile is emancipated, and further stated the father had no right to be present if the patient did not want him there.
Meyer then contacted the City Attorney’s office to verify the emancipation question and was told “A juvenile is not emancipated simply by becoming pregnant,” and further, that “becoming emancipated required a Court process.” The attorney also advised a criminal investigation of Planned Parenthood if such documentation couldn’t be provided.
The report did not indicate why the girl was at the facility, other than for a possible late-term abortion. Smasne told Meyer the Kennewick facility couldn’t perform a late-term abortion, so she referred the girl to a Seattle facility, apparently one that could perform the procedure. When Meyer learned the girl refused to sign the referral form, he demanded she be brought out "right now."
At that point, he said, Smasne became very “dramatic,” asking him what he was going to do when the girl’s father “murdered her, and dumped her in a ditch on the side of the road.” The officer, however, told the Planned Parenthood staffer that “the matter was not up for debate." Smasne did not release her until the facility was threatened with charges of Custodial Interference.
The girl was finally released to her father.
But in this case, the police officer responsibly discharged the duties of his office, protecting the rights of a parent.