by Steven Ertelt
February 29, 2008
Overland Park, KS (LifeNews.com) — A Kansas judge has struck a deal with Planned Parenthood, over the objections of prosecutors, on how the abortion business will turn over information for a grand jury looking at possible illegal abortions. Planned Parenthood will release censored information from subpoenaed abortion records, but not the records themselves.
The panel asked for abortion records to determine whether Planned Parenthood is violating state law at its Overland Park facility.
It has been accused of not giving women information on abortion risks and alternatives and notifying parents when a minor girl is considering an abortion. Johnson County District Attorney Phill Kline has also filed 107 charges saying Planned Parenthood violated state limits on late-term abortions and falsified medical records related to them.
Judge Kevin Moriarty will take custody of the 16 abortion records the grand jury initially issued a subpoena for, and on which patient information has already been redacted.
He will compile the information into a spreadsheet members of the grand jury will be allowed to view in order to protect patient privacy.
Assistant District Attorney John Christopher Pryor told Judge Moriarty he object to the plan because it fails to allow the grand jury to hold the abortion center accountable. He said it turns the judge into a grand jury witness.
"It’s the grand jury’s job to investigate Planned Parenthood not for Planned Parenthood to investigate itself," he said, according to an AP report.
Rick Merker, one of two grand jury special counsels, agreed.
"If we can’t trust the court, then there is something wrong with our system of justice," Merker said.
Troy Newman, the president of Operation Rescue, the pro-life group that led the effort to call the grand jury, told LifeNews.com the plan is a "suspicious arrangement."
He said it makes "Judge Moriarty an ad hoc member of the Planned Parenthood defense team. He is taking on the role of censor and is preventing the grand jury from gaining access to critical evidence."
"Moriarty is allowing Planned Parenthood to run the investigation and only provide the evidence they want the grand jury to see without the benefit of the full context of the documents," he said.
Earlier this week, Kline filed a motion saying the 15-member jury can’t do its job because Planned Parenthood is refusing to comply with a January subpoena.