Kansas Supreme Court Dismisses Abortion Centers’ Probe Complaints

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 30, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Kansas Supreme Court Dismisses Abortion Centers’ Probe Complaints Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
November 30
, 2006

Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — The Kansas Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed complaints from two abortion centers about an investigation the state attorney general is conducting into whether they covered up cases of sexual abuse by doing abortions. The probe also involves accusations that they are doing illegal late-term abortions.

The state’s high court dismissed a request from the abortion facilities to take over Attorney General Phil Kline’s investigation.

Chief Justice Kay McFarland signed a one sentence order dismissing the case and the court gave no reasons for its decision.

The abortion centers — including a Planned Parenthood business and a facility run by Wichita late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller — also wanted the Kansas Supreme Court to appoint a special prosecutor in the case.

They are upset that Fox News host Bill O’Reilly obtained information showing that they are doing illegal late-term abortions on women for non-medical reasons. Kansas law only allows them for legitimate medical reasons.

Pedro Irigonegaray, an attorney representing the abortion facilities, told the Associated Press he wouldn’t comment on the decision and the attorney general’s office wasn’t available for a comment.

The ruling means Kline can refer potential cases for prosecution to county attorneys or file charges himself before he leaves office in January. Democrat Paul Morrison, who said he would drop the investigation, defeated Kline earlier this month.

Morrison spokesman Mark Simpson told AP Thursday he would have to look at the case more thoroughly before making a final decision.

A Shawnee County judge originally allowed Kline to have access to some redacted abortion records and they abortion businesses wanted those records returned.

District Judge Richard Anderson turned over some of the records to Kline in October. In legal papers he filed with the state court Monday he wrote that Kline "stands on firm legal ground" in the records dispute.

He said the high court’s demands in an earlier decision were satisfied when the abortion records were redacted.

"Relevant information is contained in the medical files, which may constitute evidence of possible violations of law," Anderson wrote, according to AP.

Assistant Attorney General Stephen Maxwell responded for Kline and said the court has no authority to grant a special prosecutor, to investigate Kline or take control of his abortion facility probe.

This isn’t the first time the Kansas Supreme Court has weighed in.

Anderson originally subpoenaed the records for Kline in September 2004, but the abortion centers asked the court to intervene. In February it sent the case back to Anderson with instructions to make sure the records were kept confidential.