by Steven Ertelt
November 5, 2007
Overland Park, KS (LifeNews.com) — Officials in Johnson County, Kansas say that pro-life groups managed to collect enough petition signatures to start the process of calling a grand jury to investigate the Planned Parenthood abortion business that operates there. Pro-life advocates say the abortion center has violated numerous state laws.
Election Commissioner Brian Newby said the petition sponsors needed 3,815 signatures on their petitions to meet the threshold for invoking a rarely-used state law allowing state residents to call for grand jury investigations.
Newby told the Kansas City Star that more than enough were submitted to reach that goal.
In the next stage of the process, the petitions will be send to the county’s district judges and, if a majority agree the petition is proper, they must approve the call for the grand jury. After their approval, there is a 60 day window for the grand jury to convene.
The abortion center has already been charged by the county attorney with over 100 violations, but the pro-life groups believe there are more.
In a statement to LifeNews.com, the coalition says Planned Parenthood President and CEO Peter Brownlie is lying to the media and public about what’s going on at his abortion business.
On October 17, he told the Associated Press that his abortion center doesn’t perform any abortions past the 22nd week of pregnancy.
However, Planned Parenthood’s web site indicates that "Our primary service is providing abortion services from 4 to 23 weeks gestation, based on the patient’s last menstrual period (LMP)."
It further states that the cost for abortions between 22.0 weeks and 23.4 weeks is $2,185.
"If Planned Parenthood isn’t doing abortion past 22 weeks, why do they say they do on their website, and even list the cost for the abortions Brownlie says do not take place?" Operation Rescue president Troy Newman told LifeNews.com.
The petition asks the grand jury to look into seven allegations including illegal abortions, failing to report suspected child sexual abuse, providing false information, illegal trafficking in fetal tissue, and failure to comply with the 24-hour waiting period and parental consent requirements of Kansas law.
Attorney General Paul Morrison, who backs abortion, cleared the abortion business of any wrongdoing earlier this year in connection with supposedly doing illegal late-term abortions.
However, that didn’t stop pro-life advocates from launching the campaign or Johnson County District Attorney Phill Kline from filing charges against Planned Parenthood.
Last week, Kline, the former state attorney general, filed over 100 criminal charges against the abortion center.
The 107 counts include 23 felonies and 84 misdemeanors and they include 29 misdemeanor counts of doing illegal late-term abortions.
The complaints also allege that the Planned Parenthood facility failed to maintain proper records, falsified information, and did not follow laws about determining viability.
A hearing is slated to take place on the charges on November 16.