Under present California law, all persons who regularly come in contact with children as part of their jobs are required to report any instance where there is reason to believe that a child has been molested or abused. The new bill would eliminate mandatory reporting for anyone working as a volunteer in any capacity.
The bill would also eliminate mandatory reporting in cases where children are having sex with each other, and would eliminate "severe emotional abuse" as a reportable event.
The bill was introduced and promoted in the legislature by Sen. Sheila Keuhl, who is openly a lesbian.
Opponents of the bill believe that it was motivated by an investigation that revealed that Planned Parenthood has been contacted by more than 30,000 children in California -- some of them as young as six years old with sexually transmitted diseases -- but has never reported a single instance of abuse to law enforcement.
"This is a reprehensible act by Sheila Keuhl," said Richard D. Ackerman, Vice-President of Legal Affairs for the Pro-Family Law Center in Southern California, "The one common denominator among civilized persons is the ability to rally around the protection of our children. Even one case of unreported abuse has the potential to begin a generational cycle of continuing abuse, and could even result in the death of a child."
Opponents of SB1313 are contacting Gov. Schwarzenegger and encouraging him not to sign the bill into law.
Bill Dubbed 'Pedophile Protection Act'