by Steven Ertelt
February 24, 2008
Overland Park, KS (LifeNews.com) — The Planned Parenthood in Overland Park, Kansas will turn over some abortion records to a grand jury investigating whether or not it broke state abortion laws. The abortion center has been accused by local officials and pro-life advocates of doing illegal late-term abortions and then falsifying medical records.
Johnson County District Attorney Phill Kline brought 107 criminal charges against the abortion center.
Then, pro-life groups used an obscure state law to call for a grand jury to investigate further.
Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri has fought requests to turn over medical records of abortions so the investigation can determine whether it broke the law.
But its attorneys on Friday said it would turn over some redacted records.
According to an AP report, Planned Parenthood attorney Pedro Irigonegaray said the abortion center would turn over 16 records regarding the allegations.
He indicated that he and attorneys for the grand jury reached a compromise over turning over the information.
He claimed the records would prove Planned Parenthood didn’t break any laws on notifying parents when a minor girl seeks an abortion or making sure the abortion center provided information on abortion risks and alternatives 24 hours before the abortion.
"We want to turn over the information," Planned Parenthood CEO Peter Brownlie told AP. "We just want assurances over how those records will be handled, who will see them and who will have copies of them."
Kline has previously accused Planned Parenthood of altering medical documents before turning them over to authorities in an earlier investigation.
He made the allegation during a court hearing when he called for the disqualification of two Planned Parenthood attorneys.
Kline wants the Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri lawyers Pedro Irigonegaray and Robert Eye dismissed as witnesses in the case he’s filed against the abortion center but lost a motion to do that.
Planned Parenthood will face a preliminary hearing on April 7 and 8 on the 107 criminal charges.
District Court Judge Stephen Tatum set the dates and will order a jury trial if he finds probable cause that Planned Parenthood is guilty of the violations.
Kline’s allegations about the medical records came after Shawnee County District Judge Richard Anderson testified during the hearing. He is the judge who originally allowed Kline to obtain the records in 2004 when he was attorney general.
Kline filed charges against Planned Parenthood at that time but his replacement, now-disgraced Attorney General Paul Morrison, eventually cleared the abortion business in connection with the charges.
After taking the district attorney job from Morrison, Kline re-filed the charges.
According to AP, Judge Anderson testified that the records he received from Planned Parenthood in 2006 did not match the original ones he allowed Kline to obtain in 2004.
Instead, the records are those that Planned Parenthood gave Morrison that prompted him to drop the charges and Kline suspects the abortion business altered them to make it appear as if they had complied with state law.
Anderson indicated Morrison should never have dropped the charges because he was looking at falsified documents. He also said Morrison knew the documents were wrong yet he dropped the charges anyway.
Judge Anderson also testified that Morrison then filed a motion to have all of the documents transferred back to Planned Parenthood.
After the hearing, Mary Kay Culp told LifeNews.com that Morrison "gravely misused his office both to help Planned Parenthood avoid prosecution, as well as to hide all his court maneuverings on their behalf."
"The judge wasn’t asked and thus didn’t say if he suspected Morrison’s work to help get Planned Parenthood’s records back was based on Morrison knowing the records had problems, but it certainly begs the question," Culp added.