by Steven Ertelt
November 27, 2007
Overland Parrk, KS (LifeNews.com) — A Kansas judge in Johnson County has rejected a motion Planned Parenthood filed to dismiss a citizen-called grand jury probe into its abortion facility outside Kansas City. Pro-life advocates took advantage of a little-used state law allowing grand jury investigations when enough residents sign petitions calling for one.
Johnson County District Attorney Phill Kline filed over 100 criminal charges against the abortion center last month.
The 107 counts include 23 felonies and 84 misdemeanors and they include 29 misdemeanor counts of doing illegal late-term abortions.
However, because they say politics have trumped the state’s ability to hold violators of the state’s abortion laws accountable, pro-life advocates called for the grand jury for further investigation.
Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri lawyer Robert Eye had claimed that grand jury is nothing more than pro-life advocates harassing the abortion business.
He also said Attorney General Paul Morrison, a pro-abortion Democrat, had cleared the abortion center of any wrongdoing in connection with charges Kline filed when he was the state’s top attorney.
But Judge Kevin Moriarty rejected that argument and moved the hearing date for more action in connection with this case up to Monday of next week.
"The court believes it simply does not have jurisdiction to do anything but to allow the grand jury to proceed," he wrote.
According to an Associated Press report, Planned Parenthood said it is considering filing legal papers with the state Supreme Court to reverse Judge Moriarty’s decision.
Mary Kay Culp, the executive director of Kansans for Life, talked with LifeNews.com about the decision.
She pointed out that the Kansas Supreme Court has yet to rule in late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller’s motion to stop the grand jury investigation of him.
"But it should be noted that Judge Moriarty, in his ruling on Planned Parenthood’s request, joins a long and growing list of judges from across the state who say Kansas law clearly empowers its citizens to petition to convene grand juries," she said.
In a previous statement to LifeNews.com, a coalition of pro-life groups behind the grand jury probe said 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.
Related web sites:
Kansans for Life – https://www.kfl.org