by Steven Ertelt
February 12, 2008
Wichita, KS (LifeNews.com) — The leading official in Kansas who has been doing the bulk of the work to investigate abortion centers that engage in illegal abortions and attempts to cover up their actions says a grand jury should have access to abortion records. Former state attorney general Phill Kline says the records are necessary for convictions.
A grand jury in Wichita is currently investigating late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller on numerous allegations that he has done illegal late-term abortions over the last five years.
As LifeNews.com has reported, Tiller’s attorneys have done everything in their power to prevent the grand jury from obtaining abortion records to determine whether the charges are valid.
In an editorial that appeared in the Wichita Eagle on Tuesday, Kline says violation of law "almost always occurs behind a veil of secrecy" and that medical records are often the only way to prosecute criminals.
Kline called the claims from Tiller’s attorneys that giving the redacted abortion records to officials would compromise the privacy of women a "bogus" argument that "undermines the safety net established to protect these victims."
He said "four independent judges have found probable cause to believe that two Kansas abortion clinics committed 156 criminal acts based on just 90 redacted records."
"Kansas law only restricts abortion late in pregnancy when the fetus is viable and can live away from the mother," he explained. "But this reasonable law cannot be enforced unless the reason for the abortion can be reviewed by investigators."
Kline said women who have abortions have nothing to fear when their records are used to hold abortion practitioners accountable for obeying state law.
"The name of the mother is never revealed, and she cannot be prosecuted under the law," he said. "Five years after the investigation started, with scores of criminal charges filed, not one patient has been identified; not one patient faces criminal scrutiny."
"For this reason, a Wichita grand jury’s subpoena of the records in the possession of Attorney General Stephen Six should be honored. Those records contain no identities, and a judge already certified that the redaction of information was consistent with the court order," Kline concluded.