Kansas Attorney General Continues Abortion-Sexual Abuse Investigation
by Steven Ertelt
March 4, 2005
Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — Kansas Attorney general Phill Kline is not backing down in his investigation of dozens of alleged cases of sexual abuse. He is locked in a battle with two abortion facilities who do not want to turn over medical records of young teenagers and pre-teens who had possibly illegal abortions after likely cases of statutory rape.
Kline has pursued documents related to 90 abortion cases to conduct his investigation. However, two abortion facilities, including one in Kansas City and George Tiller’s late-term abortion business in Wichita, filed suit to prevent him from having the information.
On Thursday, Kline submitted a brief to the Kansas Supreme Court upholding his position that obtaining the medical records is crucial to the cases.
Kline said he believes they are more concerned about protecting themselves from criminal liability than worrying about patient privacy.
"The issue in this case is whether abortion clinics are above the law," Kline told reporters yesterday.
"We’re talking about the target of an investigation saying I have a right to review the evidence and decide whether to give it to you. That’s not how the law operates. If it did, nobody would ever be prosecuted," he said.
Kline also said his investigation is targeting possible illegal late-term abortions.
When performing an abortion after 22 weeks of pregnancy, abortion facilities are required to first determine if the unborn child is viable and, secondly, only perform the abortion if the mother’s health would be in danger otherwise.
Tiller’s abortion business has come under fire for its own invasion of patient privacy.
Kansans for Life director Mary Kay Culp points to a page on Tiller’s web site seeking donations to a pro-abortion political action committee he runs and that he used to funnel $150,000 to Kline’s opponent in 2002.
Under a section entitled, "Permissible Uses and Disclosures Without Your Written Authorization," the web site tells women who obtain abortions that they may be contacted with fundraising requests from Tiller’s ProKanDo PAC or requests to financially support his abortion business.
"In connection with any fundraising, we may disclose to out (sic) fundraising staff demographic information about you (e.g., your name, address and phone number) and dates of health care that we provided you," the Tiller web site says.
Patients not wanting their personal information or abortion medical file data to be given to fundraisers must contact Tiller’s office and opt out.
After coming under media scrutiny, the web page was dropped late last month.
Kline said he found that information on the web site "outrageous."
Responding to the Kansas Supreme Court brief, the New York Times reports that Lee Thompson, an attorney for the abortion businesses, said "our clients have followed the law and will continue to do so."
"They have fulfilled their duties to protect the privacy of their patients, to report cases of criminal abuse to authorities in the locations having jurisdiction, and, as well, to respect the orders of the Kansas courts (including in this case) concerning public disclosure of information relating to subpoenas for medical records," he said.
Related web sites:
Kansans for Life – https://www.kfl.org