Kansas Planned Parenthood, Pro-Life Groups Debate Grand Jury Abortion Ruling

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 4, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Kansas Planned Parenthood, Pro-Life Groups Debate Grand Jury Abortion Ruling Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
March 4
, 2008

Overland Park, KS (LifeNews.com) — Officials with a Kansas City area Planned Parenthood abortion center and pro-life groups are debating the meaning of a grand jury’s decision not to indict it for breaking state abortion laws. Planned Parenthood claims it has been vindicated but pro-life groups say the grand jury never saw the full evidence.

Peter Brownlie, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, told AP the decision exonerated the abortion business.

"We are once again vindicated, as we have been any time there is an objective review of these allegations," he claimed. "The jury investigated all of the allegations that were in the petition that resulted in the grand jury being formed, and they found no evidence of any wrongdoing."

However, officials with Operation Rescue slammed the decision.

They told LifeNews.com that the grand jury results came after withdrawing the only subpoena they issued in the "so-called" investigation.

The proceedings were tainted by misconduct on the parts of the Judge Kevin Moriarty and special prosecutors, the group said, that included improper backroom deals cut with Planned Parenthood attorneys that denied critical evidence to the grand jury as a whole.

"There is no way that they could have possibly investigated all seven allegations that the voters empanelled them to investigate without inspecting any documents from Planned Parenthood," Operation Rescue president Troy Newman said.

"It’s shocking that Planned Parenthood was allowed to direct their own investigation and dictate to the grand jury what evidence would be provided, and even how they would be allowed to view the evidence," Newman added.

He said, "The entire process was corrupted, and Judge Moriarty is responsible for that corruption. We are considering the possibility of filing ethics charges against him."

Moriarty refused to allow members of the grand jury to inspect 16 subpoenaed abortion records that had already had all patient-identifying information redacted, citing privacy concerns.

Instead, he personally took custody of the records and prepared a "spreadsheet" summary of information in the records. The grand jury was not allowed to view the evidence in context.

Mary Kay Culp, the head of Kansans for Life, told LifeNews.com on Tuesday that the grand jury never received "all available medical information," as some have said.

"Planned Parenthood, the object of the investigation, got to decide what information to include and more importantly, exclude," she explained. "Planned Parenthood didn’t prove their innocence. They proved their cleverness at keeping key evidence away from a grand jury."

Planned Parenthood still faces 107 criminal charges filed by the District Attorney’s office in October of last year.