by Steven Ertelt
March 3, 2008
Overland Park, KS (LifeNews.com) — A Johnson County grand jury has failed to issue an indictment against a Planned Parenthood abortion center near Kansas City. The verdict of "no true bill" comes after several allegations that the grand jury process had been distorted by a judge who sided with the abortion business in limiting the panel’s access to abortion records.
Pedro Irigonegaray, a Planned Parenthood lawyer, applauded the grand jury’s decision and claimed it exonerated Planned Parenthood, but pro-life groups say the legal process was distorted.
Mary Kay Culp, the director of Kansans for Life, told LifeNews.com she’s not surprised the grand jury failed to indicted Planned Parenthood because the evidence needed to prove the abortion business flouted state law was withheld.
"It is hard to believe [their decision] is based on evidence, since the only evidence they saw is a spreadsheet of what Planned Parenthood, the object of the investigation, approved of them seeing," Culp said.
Culp also blamed Judge Moriatry for not wanting the grand jury to make a decision based on its original subpoena because of the way he bent over backwards to appease Planned Parenthood.
"Unfortunately, when it comes to grand juries, it does matter who the judge is and where his sympathies lie," Culp told LifeNews.com.
Last week, LifeNews.com reported on a deal Judge Kevin Moriarty struck with Planned Parenthood, over the objections of prosecutors, on how the abortion business would turn over information for the probe.
Planned Parenthood would 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.
The abortion business had been accused of not giving women information on abortion risks and alternatives and notifying parents when a minor girl is considering an abortion.
The grand jury’s decision doesn’t affect the status of charges Johnson County District Attorney Phill Kline has filed against the abortion business. Kline has filed 107 charges saying Planned Parenthood violated state limits on late-term abortions and falsified medical records related to them.
Also last week, Kline filed a motion saying the 15-member jury couldn’t do its job because Planned Parenthood was refusing to comply with a January subpoena.