Kansas Health Dept. Won’t Turn Over Abortion Records in Planned Parenthood Probe

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 1, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Kansas Health Dept. Won’t Turn Over Abortion Records in Planned Parenthood Probe

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
April 1
, 2008

Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is refusing to turn over abortion records a district attorney needs to determine if a Planned Parenthood business has done illegal abortions. It faces 107 criminal charges filed by the District Attorney’s office in October of last year.

Johnson County District Attorney Phill Kline says Planned Parenthood violated state limits on late-term abortions and falsified medical records related to them.

Other charges include failing to maintain proper medical records and failing to discern the viability of unborn children prior to doing late-term abortions.

Last month, a grand jury failed to issue an indictment against the Overland Park Planned Parenthood but its decision did not affect Kline’s case.

Kline issued a subpoena for the health department to turn over abortion records that would assist him in prosecuting the case, but the agency filed a motion to quash the subpoena.

A hearing is scheduled for Wednesday before District Court Judge Stephen Tatum and, if the motion is affirmed, Planned Parenthood officials tell the Kansas City Star it could seriously hamper Kline’s efforts at holding it accountable.

"If he (Kline) doesn’t have the evidence, how can he prosecute?” Planned Parenthood attorney Pedro Irigonegaray asked. "Without records, that is an impossible task.”

Irigonegaray says the abortion records are ones former Attorney General Paul Morrison reviewed last year before dismissing charges Kline filed against Planned Parenthood when he was the state’s top attorney.

Health and Environment Department spokesman Joe Blubaugh says state law prohibits the agency from turning over the abortion records, but he told the newspaper it would comply with any court ruling.

Shawnee County District Judge Richard Anderson previously examined the abortion records in question and indicated Planned Parenthood’s records and state records don’t match — indicating possible problems.

A two-day hearing is slated for Monday and Tuesday next week on Kline’s case against Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri.