Kansas Supreme Court Lifts Gag Order on Abortion-Sexual Abuse Case

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 10, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Kansas Supreme Court Lifts Gag Order on Abortion-Sexual Abuse Case Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
March 10, 2005

Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — In what is being described as a move that could jeopardize children’s welfare and put a statewide investigation a difficult situation, the Kansas Supreme Court has decided to lift a gag order on a case involving abortion and possible sexual abuse.

Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline has been pursuing the investigation after the Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported that 78 Kansas children aged 14 years and younger received abortions in Kansas in 2003.

The girls having the abortions are victims of statutory rape under state law and the abortion, if performed late in pregnancy, could be violating other state statutes.

Kline said the Kansas high court’s decision could hurt the children involved in the cases.

"I just cannot believe a court would do this," Kline said in an interview with the Associated Press. "It could harm a child directly."

He called the decision "amazing" and said it would permit the abortion businesses to contact parents of children whose records are being sought. That could tip off an offender in the statutory rape cases.

The investigation went to court last year because Kline wants files on 90 people who had abortions at two abortion facilities in the state. Requests were made of the late-term abortion business in Wichita run by George Tiller and the Kansas City area abortion facility operated by Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri.

The abortion facilities do not want to turn over the records, citing patient privacy, and sued to prevent being compelled to do so.

Most documents in the case are still sealed, but the parties can now be more open about discussing it in public.

Kline said investigators routinely receive medical records to further criminal investigations. He also said a county judge would ensure that patient privacy is protected.

"There’s no reason for the clinics to do this," Kline said. "They are sowing fear, hysteria and terror."

Related web sites:

Kansas Supreme Court – https://www.kscourts.org
Attorney General’s office – https://www.ksag.org