On Thursday, the final drama in a long and complex chapter of abortion history will play out in a Kansas courtroom. On the line is the law license – and career – of a former Attorney General and District Attorney who is accused of ethics violations for the way he handled investigations of illegal late-term abortions and the concealment of child rape by abortion clinics.
Phill Kline is accused of mishandling criminal abortion investigations between 2003 and 2008. The ethics complaint against him was filed by Dan Monet, an attorney that represented an abortionist who was the object of Kline’s investigations. The complaint was fueled by political manipulation and a public campaign to disgrace Kline launched by the abortion-defending local media, which often twisted or misreported facts during Kline’s ordeal that has now spanned nine long years.
Kline’s investigation was marred by repeated obstructive efforts on the part of former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius’ administration, whose goal was to discredit Kline, conceal incriminating evidence of crimes committed by the abortion clinics, and destroy his investigations.
Even though the Sebelius era has ended in Kansas with her appointment as Secretary of Health and Services and most of her hand-selected cronies have been purged from positions of power, there remains two institutions still firmly in the grasp of the political climate created by Sebelius that worked to protect abortion clinics from accountability under the law at any cost. Those two institutions are the Disciplinary Administrator’s office and the Kansas Supreme Court.
On Thursday, Disciplinary Administrator Stan Hazlett is set to ask for Kline’s law license to be permanently revoked. In doing so, he will be ignoring the recommendation of a 3-person disciplinary panel that Kline’s license be suspended indefinitely. This would allow Kline to petition to restore his law license in three years.
Kline’s ethics case is an historic one that resembles more the plot line from the novel Moby Dick than an actual legal proceeding, where Hazlett, mimicking the persona of Captain Ahab, seems personally as hell-bent on destroying Kline as Ahab was on killing the whale.
In fact, Kline’s case never would have progressed beyond the initial investigative stage, had it not been for Hazlett’s crusade.
Two investigators working for the Disciplinary Administrator’s office, which is prosecuting Kline, issued a report clearing Kline of wrong-doing and recommending that the case not proceed. This report was improperly suppressed by Disciplinary Administrator Stan Hazlett for three years and only surfaced as Kline was about to face an ethics hearing last year.
“If ever there was a politically motivated case, this is it,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue and Pro-Life Nation. “The entire case against Kline is evidence of deep political corruption that has protected the abortion criminals while brutally punishing those who attempt to hold the criminals accountable under the law.”
Kline’s original disciplinary hearing was the longest in Kansas history. Kline was personally grilled for an unprecedented 28 hours under oath. In the end, the panel recommended sanctions.
However, of the three Disciplinary Board members serving as judges over the case, two gave campaign contributions to Kline’s political opponents during what court witnesses described as contentious political races that focused on the abortion issue and were filled with personal animosity. Those members should have been recused from sitting in judgment of someone they had openly politically opposed.
Despite the findings of a politically bigoted Disciplinary Board, time has proven what Kline’s investigations had uncovered. Kansas abortion clinics were breaking the law.
- Abortion clinic concealment of child rape. Kline’s allegations were confirmed with the 2006 rape conviction of Robert Estrada who began to sexually abuse his two step daughters when they were just 11 and 12 years old. He impregnated the 12-year old then took her to a Wichita abortion clinic where she received an abortion without a suspected abuse report being filed. Estrada continued to rape both girls for four more years, resulting in a total of four pregnancies. Kline assisted in Estrada’s prosecution by forwarding the abortion records obtained during his investigations to Sedgwick County District Attorney Nola Foulston, who falsely told reporters Kline had nothing to do with the case. In an apparent cover-up, the abortionist was never held accountable for his actions. Kline’s investigations into abortion clinics that hid child sex abuse was thwarted and he was never able ascertain if over 160 minor girls aged 14 and younger who had been subjected to abortions were safe or still in danger from continued abuse thanks to the Sebelius Administrations’ obstructive legal interference.
- Illegal late-term abortions in Wichita. During his final days as Attorney General, Kline filed a 30-count criminal case against George Tiller for conducting illegal late-term abortions. Within 24 hours, District Attorney Foulston persuaded a judge to dismiss the charges on shady jurisdictional arguments. Later, Tiller was charged by the Kansas Board of Healing Arts on 11 counts of illegal late-term abortions. Earlier this year, the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts revoked the medical license of Ann Kristin Neuhaus, the abortionist who provided Tiller with the second referral then required by Kansas law for each post-viability abortion. The KSBHA found that she improperly concluded that abortions were necessary based on her phony and negligently conducted mental health screenings. Testimony revealed that abortions done based on Neuhaus’ referrals were illegal. Kline’s allegations had been on the mark.
- Illegal late-term abortions at Planned Parenthood and manufacturing evidence. As Johnson County District Attorney Kline filed 107 criminal charges against them for illegal abortions and manufacturing evidence to cover their crimes. The case was supported by probable cause findings from three Kansas judges. Kline’s successor was apolitical rival with a grudge against Kline for once firing him. The case under Howe was marred by scandal. Allegations of evidence destruction eventually paved the way for the dismissal of all of Kline’s charges. However, Judge Richard Anderson released documents in response to an open records request made by Operation Rescue that proved that Howe lied to a judge to get the charges against Planned Parenthood dropped. This validated Kline’s charges and proved that the case he pursued was a solid one with incriminating evidence that his political enemies worked to suppress at any cost.
As for Thursday’s hearing, already an unprecedented five Supreme Court Justices have recused themselves and will not sit in judgment of Kline because of their biased history of involvement against his abortion investigations. They have been replaced by others who will hear one final hour of arguments on Thursday, which will decide Kline’s professional fate.
Operation Rescue has learned that friend-of-the-court briefs filed by two attorney groups on behalf of Kline, including Life Legal Defense Foundation, were flatly rejected by the Supreme Court in a move that raised further questions about the Court’s ability to judge the ethics case fairly.
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The case has taken an emotional and financial toll on Kline. The state has been reticent to fulfill its obligation and pay for all of Kline’s legal costs; therefore, Kline has had to personally pay thousands of dollars to fund his defense. He was forced to leave Kansas in order to support his family. His reputation has been shredded by a negative media campaign of personal destruction.
“We are asking folks to do two things. First, pray for Phill Kline and his family as they face once again a biased political prosecution and a hostile press. Secondly, we are asking for anyone who can to help with a generous donation to Kline’s legal defense fund,” said Newman. “We must support Phill so that the truth can be told about the political corruption that has protected abortion clinics from accountability. Phill has suffered unjustly for telling that truth. We pray that with his vindication the corruption will finally be exposed and rooted out once and for all.”
To donate to Kline’s legal defense fund, click here.
LifeNews.com Note: Cheryl Sullenger is a leader of Operation Rescue, a Kansas-based pro-life that monitors abortion practitioners and exposes their illegal and unethical practices.