by Steven Ertelt
February 23, 2005
Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline is launching an investigation into possible sexual abuse of teenagers who obtained late-term abortions in the state.
The news follows on the heels of a state investigation into the January late-term abortion death of a Texas woman at a Wichita abortion business.
Two abortion facilities filed papers with the Kansas Supreme Court to head off the investigation, which began secretly in October.
Kline is hoping to obtain medical records of 90 women who had late-term abortions to uncover possible crimes. According to an Associated Press report, the abortion businesses are concerned about patient privacy if they are required to relinquish the information.
Kline has scheduled a Thursday afternoon news conference to discuss the investigation and his office told AP that it would relate to "questions raised relating to child rape and abortion in Kansas.”
According to the legal papers filed with the Kansas high court, the abortion facilities say Kline’s office asked them for medical records of any women who had abortions after 22 weeks of pregnancy. The abortion businesses want any personal information to be redacted.
In October, Shawnee County District Judge Richard Anderson ruled Kline could have access to the files, but the abortion businesses appealed. They outlined their concerns in a brief filed on Tuesday and Kline has a week to file a response.
The papers did not identify the abortion facilities, but the Wichita business owned and operated by abortion practitioner George Tiller is one of the few in the country to perform very late-term abortions. He has come under fire for the deaths of two women in the last two months.
Wichita attorney Lee Thompson is representing one of the abortion businesses, but would not tell AP whether it involved Tiller’s facility.
Kline has long been concerned about the sexual exploitation of minors and using abortions to cover up any pregnancies that result. He says state law requires reporting to officials any occasion in which a girl under 16 years of age has sex, as such an act is statutory rape.
As such, any abortion business that performs an abortion on a woman under that age would be required to report the suspected sexual abuse to the state.
Mary Kay Culp, director of Kansans for Life, tells LifeNews.com that Kline is pursuing the abortion facilities because they can help document sexual abuse.
"In Kansas there must be a threat of substantial and irreversible bodily damage for an abortion after the point at which the baby could live outside the womb," Culp said. "Our last governor and attorney general interpreted the word ‘bodily’ to include mental and emotional health. Thus late term clinics use Maternal Intake forms to gather information about the circumstances surrounding the pregnancy."
"When investigating the possible rape and continuing sexual molestation of a young girl this information could be vital," Culp told LifeNews.com. "To deny it to a sworn law enforcement officer is wrong and the abortion industry’s sincerity in asserting privacy must be questioned."
"They seem much more interested in protecting their business than protecting young women and girls," Culp added.
State Sens. Phil Journey and Susan Wagle, both Republicans from Wichita, released a statement supporting the investigation.
"If a child the age of 10, 11 or 12 years of age seeks an abortion in Kansas, by law that child has been raped, and we believe the state has the obligation to investigate that rape, bring the rapist to justice and prevent further exploitation of the child," they said.
In June 2003, Kline tried to require the state’s health care providers to report any cases of sexual activity of girls under 16. A federal judge issued a restraining order citing doctor-patient privilege and the case is still pending.
Related web sites:
Kansans for Life – https://www.kfl.org