All of the charges against a Planned Parenthood abortion business have been dropped after one of the most politically biased cases pro-life groups say they can remember. The case was embroiled in controversy after it was found documents critical to it were destroyed during the administration of former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.
Earlier this month, a Kansas judge dismissed dozens of misdemeanor charges alleging that the abortion business failed to test whether an unborn child was viable (as required by state law) before doing a late-term abortion, and that it manipulated records it submitted to the state to cover up those crimes.
Planned Parenthood filed motions seeking to dismiss the criminal case involving 58 counts related to illegal late-term abortions. It wanted all charges dropped and Judge Stephen Tatum dismissed them all.
Now, prosecutors announced today they are dismissing the rest of the charges as Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe and Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt made the joint decision today about dropping the final 32 charges.
Peter Brownlie, president of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri applauded the dismissal, telling the Kansas City Star: “The dismissal of these charges is a strong blow against those who have been using this case to further their political agenda to eliminate access to abortion care and harm Planned Parenthood. It makes clear what Planned Parenthood has said throughout this case: that Kline, Brownback and their supporters are willing to use any means they can to accomplish their ends, including misusing the law enforcement and judicial systems at great taxpayer expense.”
The abortion business was accused of violating a Kansas law that in 2003 restricted abortions at or after the 22nd week of pregnancy if a doctor determined the fetus was viable, or could survive outside the womb. In such instances, abortions were limited to saving a woman’s life or preventing “substantial and irreversible harm” to “a major bodily function,” which could include mental health. Legislators rewrote the law last year.
Jill Stanek, a pro-life blogger who has been closely following the case as well, blames pro-abortion former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and her stacked courts for allowing the case to unravel.
“What happens when a corrupt state governor, Kathleen Sebelius (pictured above left), and her hand-picked court system collude to stall a case so long the statute of limitations runs out? And what happens when that same state governor’s health department shreds evidence in that same case?” she asks. “And what happens when a prosecutor with nerves of steel is replaced by a prosecutor with nerves of spaghetti? All three combine for death by a thousand cuts of a rock solid case against Planned Parenthood of Overland Park, Kansas, for committing illegal late-term abortions, failing to report abortions of minors, and falsifying documents.”
Planned Parenthood was accused of failing to determine viability for at least 26 abortions in 2003. While they determined gestational age, they failed to apply more than a blanket designation of non-viability to babies 24 weeks and under. Kansas law at that time mandated a determination of viability at 22 weeks or later.
Because former attorney general Steve Six, an appointee of former Gov Kathleen Sebelius, destroyed the documents, a court dismissed all of the felony chargesfiled against Planned Parenthood because the evidence supporting those charges had been destroyed. Under Sebelius, the Kansas Health and Education Department fought access by Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline to original copies of abortion reports needed to prosecute Planned Parenthood.
The case was rocked by scandal last year when District Attorney Steve Howe told the court that crucial evidence had been destroyed during the administration of former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, who now serves as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services. That evidence was needed to prove the most serious charges that Planned Parenthood had manufactured evidence to cover for other crimes. Because the prosecution could not produce the evidence, Judge Stephen Tatum dismissed 49 of 107 original counts last November, leaving the remaining 58 counts pending.
Democratic Attorneys General under Sebelius actively worked through the years to subvert the investigation and prosecution of Planned Parenthood. Disgraced Attorney General Paul Morrison issued a letter in June, 2007, “clearing” Planned Parenthood of wrong-doing. Judge Richard Anderson, who oversaw the investigation, deemed that letter inappropriate.
As District Attorney, Phill Kline filed the 107-count criminal case against Planned Parenthood just four months later. After Morrison was forced to resign due to a sex and abortion corruption scandal, his successor, Sebelius appointee Steve Six, obtained a gag order on Judge Anderson and the incriminating records in his custody. The current Attorney General is a pro-life Republican.