After two years of delay, the case with 107 charges against Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri has finally moved forward. The charges, initially filed by former state attorney general Phill Kline, allege the abortion business potentially engaged in illegal abortions and violated state record-keeping laws.
Former state attorney general Phill Kline, as the then Johnson County District Attorney, filed 107 charges, including 23 felonies, against the abortion business for allegedly violating state law.
The two year delay in the case has come as political officials in Kansas seen to deflect attention on the case away from the problems at Planned Parenthood and towards false accusations that Phill Kline abused his position.
However, a hearing was held today in the criminal case against the Johnson County, Kansas Planned Parenthood. The hearing came after public pressure was brought to bear on District Attorney Steve Howe to follow through with the prosecution and the day after nearly 5,000 listeners logged onto a webcast detailing the political corruption that has caused the case to stagnate.
During the hearing held before Judge Stephen Tatum, according to officials at Operation Rescue, both sides established that they have 45 days to file motions and 45 days to respond. A future hearing on the motions will take place in July. This was the first action in the case at the District Court level since January, 2009. Disputes over evidence sent the case to the Kansas Supreme Court where it languished until last October when the Court ruled that the case could go forward and remanded it back to the District Attorney’s office for prosecution.
Pro-life groups, including Operation Rescue, were concerned that District Attorney Howe would not pursue the case due to his political rivalry with Kline, who filed the criminal charges in 2007, even though at least three judges ruled there is probable cause to believe that Planned Parenthood violated the law.
“We are suspicious of Howe’s move to carry this case on now at this time, but it does take away some of the impetus of the Board to follow through with its political lynching of Kline,” said Operation Rescue president Troy Newman.
Meanwhile, the Kansas political officials who opposed Kline’s attempt to enforce abortion laws in Kansas have pursued an ethics case against Kline that is due to go to trial before a three-member panel of the Disciplinary Administrator’s office on Monday.case against Kline is based on charges that Kline acted improperly during his investigation of Kansas abortion abuses.
“However, it was learned last week that the Disciplinary Administrators own investigators had cleared Kline of any wrong-doing in 2008, but that their report was buried in order to keep the politically motivated vendetta against Kline alive. Kline’s defense has filed a motion to disqualify the panel members due to a conflict of interest,” Newman said.
“Even though Kline has been cleared nine ways to Sunday, the political forces that seek to protect and cover-up for abortion abuses will still try to use any finding against Kline as an excuse to scuttle the case,” said Newman. “This would place politics above the rule of law and above the lives and health of women. We hope that will not be the case.”
The case against Planned Parenthood began over seven years ago but before the evidence could be fully analyzed, Kline was defeated as Attorney General. In an unusual twist, he was immediately appointed as District Attorney of the same Kansas county where Planned Parenthood operates.
In June, 2007, the new pro-abortion Attorney General, Paul Morrison, issued a letter “clearing” Planned Parenthood of any wrong-doing. This letter disturbed Judge Richard Anderson, who was the custodian of the evidence and the judge who had been involved in overseeing Kline’s investigations.
Six months later, Morrison was forced to resign in disgrace amid a scandal involving his attempts to persuade his illicit lover in the DA’s office to obstruct Kline’s abortion investigations.
Finally, in October, 2007, Kline filed the charges but the new Attorney General, Steven Six, who was appointed by pro-abortion ex-Gov. Kathleen Sebelius placed a gag order on Judge Anderson and the evidence against Planned Parenthood. Anderson was told not to comply with the District Attorney’s subpoenas.
Two judges have determined that the files show “probable cause” that the abortion business violated state abortion laws and falsified medical records. Kline legally received the records during his investigation of Planned Parenthood and transferred them to his new office when he became the county attorney.
The records showed, according to Anderson, that the age of the babies involved in the abortions had been altered to hide the fact that Planned Parenthood was engaging in illegal late-term abortions. Kline has also said Planned Parenthood engaged in a felony by making copies of state health department abortion reports that it failed to keep on file as required by law.