by Steven Ertelt
September 8, 2005
Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — The Kansas Supreme Court on Thursday held hearings on two abortion businesses refusal to cooperate with Kansas authorities who are looking into whether young teen girls who were victims of statutory rape had abortions. The abortion centers do not want to hand over medical paperwork on the girls saying that would violate their privacy rights.
Eric Rucker, chief deputy for Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline, told the state high court that the records of 90 girls are important because the state wants to know if the abortion facilities failed to properly report allegations of child abuse or statutory rape.
Last year a local county court allowed Kline to subpoena the records, but the abortion centers appealed the decision.
Rucker says the medical documents, from a Planned Parenthood abortion business an a late-term abortion facility run by abortion practitioner George Tiller, may reveal felony and misdemeanor acts of failing to report to authorities.
Lee Thompson, a Wichita attorney representing the abortion facilities told the court the subpoenas were too broad and he wants them quashed or narrowed. He also wants to know exactly what kinds of crimes Kline is accusing them of committing.
"Both clinics categorically deny having committed any felonies," Thompson told reporters. "Today was the first time in this proceeding, either before the district court or in the papers, that allegation has been made."
Meanwhile, Rucker told the court that Kline has no interest in violating the privacy of the girls and said the attorney general promises to keep them entirely confidential.
"This is a criminal investigation," Rucker said. "We cannot depend on the good-faith redaction of records by those being investigated."
Rucker said that, without the medical records, the investigation can’t go forward because Kline’s office needs to know when the abortions were performed and how old the girls were who obtained them. Kline began the investigation when the state’s health department reported dozens of girls not old enough to consent to having sex had abortions during 2004.
Kansas law requires medical personnel to report suspicions of statutory rape to authorities and bans abortions conducted after 22 weeks of pregnancy unless there is a serious health threat for the mother.
In 2004, 79 girls under the age of 15 had abortions in Kansas.
Earlier this week, Tiller’s abortion business was found shredding hundreds of documents behind its facility.
According to local pro-life advocate Karen Myers, two large trucks from Security Shredding & Recycling parked in the abortion facility’s parking lot while employees brought out what appeared to be numerous boxes of medical records.
According to the Associated Press, a ruling on the matter could come as early as the end of October.