by Steven Ertelt
February 16, 2008
Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — The new Kansas state attorney general is picking up right where his predecessor left off and, on Friday, asked the state Supreme Court to quash a request from a grand jury to hand over abortion records. The panel is investigating late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller for violating state abortion laws.
Tiller faces charges from both the state attorney general that he did illegal late-term abortions and a grand jury probe contending he violated the law other times over the last five years.
Earlier this month, the grand jury issued a subpoena to new Kansas Attorney General Stephen Six for older records his office has.
The two subpoenas seek 60 records of abortions from Tiller’s Women’s Health Care Services abortion business. His office has the files because of previous investigations of Tiller, but Six wants the subpoenas quashed or at least temporarily blocked.
Last week, the state Supreme Court temporarily blocked the grand jury from gaining access to 2,000 abortion records director from Tiller. The court agreed to block the records request until it has a chance to hold a full hearing on the issue. The court will issue a decision by February 25.
Six told the Associated Press the subpoenas for the records his office has are covered under the subpoenas the state high court blocked originally. He also questioned whether the grand jury is allowed to issue the subpoenas and worried the privacy the women involved in the abortions would be compromised even though the records will be redacted.
We simply want to give the Kansas Supreme Court the opportunity to examine these issues," Six spokeswoman Ashley Anstaett told AP. "Our subpoena deals with a subset of the medical records involved in the Supreme Court’s recent ruling."
Mary Kay Culp, the head of Kansans for Life, said she is upset by Sixs decision but not surprised that Six followed on the heels of former Attorney General David Morrison.
"They switched names, they switched faces, but it doesn’t appear as if anything else has changed," she said. "All the signs had been pointing a certain way, but this is more than a sign. It’s a slap in the face to the people of Kansas."
Culp previously talked with LifeNews.com about the subpoenas.
"It continues to be heartening to see the Wichita grand jury ask for evidence, and it continues to be amazing how the powers that be are determined to keep that evidence away from them," Culp said.
Dan Monnat, one of Tillers attorneys, applauded Sixs request to squash or delay the subpoenas saying Tiller is pleased to hear the voice of the top law enforcement officer in the state join in his call for protection of patient privacy."