The case with 107 charges against Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri was the subject of a motions hearing today concerning whether or not the public may be allowed to see evidence that Planned Parenthood committed illegal late-term abortions and then manufactured documents to cover up their crimes.
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. Kline, as the then Johnson County District Attorney, filed 107 charges, including 23 felonies, against the abortion business for allegedly violating state law.
The case has been assigned to Chris McMullin who serves as Asst. Attorney General and Assistant Johnson County District Attorney. After today’s hearing, a preliminary hearing on the charges has been set for late October.
Troy Newman, the president of Operation Rescue, one of two Kansas pro-life groups, including Kansans for Life, that have worked on helping advance the case, commented on the latest hearing.
Planned Parenthood had asked that a special computer system be purchased and installed to keep members of the public who might attend the trial from seeing any of the evidence against Planned Parenthood, Newman said. A pro-life supporter who attended today’s hearing told Operation Rescue that McMullin argued that all the records have been heavily redacted already in compliance with an order from the Kansas Supreme Court and that there are sufficient safeguards in place to satisfy any remote concerns about patient privacy. The judge denied Planned Parenthood’s demand for the new computer system.
“Planned Parenthood doesn’t want a fair trial, they want special favors and treatment. Maybe they have gotten that in the past under the old Sebelius administration, but this is a new day,” he said. “Planned Parenthood needs to know they are not above the law.”
“We are happy to see this case finally progressing after four years,” said Newman. “We now have some slim hope that justice will finally be done.”
A three-day preliminary hearing has been scheduled for October 24 through 26. Witnesses and the presentation of evidence are expected at this time.
The case has been sitting for years as political officials in Kansas were 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 in February 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.
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. The 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.