Kansas Judge Delays Abortion Hearing, Kline Files Motion With Supreme Court
by Steven Ertelt
May 21, 2008
Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — A Kansas judge has decided to delay a hearing for two months about whether a case against Planned Parenthood should go to trial. District Attorney Phill Kline has filed 107 charges against a local abortion center saying it violated laws on late-term abortions and falsified medical records.
On Wednesday, Johnson County District Judge Stephen Tatum on Wednesday postponed a preliminary hearing in the case that would have determined whether it would go to trial.
The hearing involving the Comprehensive Health abortion business of Overland Park had been scheduled for next Wednesday.
Planned Parenthood had asked Tatum to postpone the hearing because it wants to wait for the Kansas Supreme Court to issue a decision related to a lawsuit it filed against Kline.
Kline did not oppose a delay in the hearing but told Tatum he wanted a definitive date set. The new date for the hearing will be July 21.
Mary Kay Culp of Kansans for Life told LifeNews.com she was disappointed by the further delay.
"Today is another example of an organized and unprecedented campaign by key state authorities to obstruct justice and help Planned Parenthood avoid a trial on criminal charges, except that today we can add suppression of key witnesses to the list, including as a witness the judge who found probable cause to believe that crimes have been committed," she said.
Meanwhile, Kline filed a motion this morning wih the state Supreme Court asking it to lift its gag order on Judge Richard Anderson and allow him to testify in Kline’s criminal prosecution of Planned Parenthood.
In January, Anderson testified before Tatum that he had reason to believe documents filed by Planned Parenthood with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment had been falsified during Kline’s investigation while he was attorney general.
The records showed, according to Anderson, that the age of the babies involved in the abortions had been altered to hide the fact that Planned Parenthood was engaging in illegal late-term abortions.
Without Anderson’s documents and testimony, Kline’s charges would lack the evidence necessary for convictions.
"Planned Parenthood got caught doing abortions past the legal limit, then cooked the books to look like they didn’t," said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman.
"At risk is over $300 million in Federal funding annually. In order to qualify for those funds, Planned Parenthood must be able to show their organizations all comply with the law," Newman said.
Earlier this month, the state high court unsealed the lawsuit Planned Parenthood filed against Kline in retribution for charges the district attorney filed saying Kline was harassing it.
Part of the lawsuit involves a request from Planned Parenthood for Kline to return 30 edited medical files he received as the state attorney general when he first brought the charges against it.
The charges he filed in October against Planned Parenthood come as a result of the revelations of possible illegal activities the medical files showed.
The high court rejected a letter from former Attorney General Paul Morrison saying Planned Parenthood wasn’t guilty and claiming the records showed no criminal conduct by Planned Parenthood.
Meanwhile, Attorney General Steve Six has filed his own suit seeking to compel Kline to return the files to Planned Parenthood. The state’s high court has slated arguments for both cases on June 12 and it will hear a request from Kline to dismiss both suits.
Kline told the Associated Press that Planned Parenthood has been going out of its way to try to prevent him from investigating and prosecuting allegations its abortion business broke the law.
When Kline was the attorney general, he obtained abortion records from Planned Parenthood and George Tiller’s abortion business in Wichita.
Those records, which a court gave Kline access to when he was investigating possible illegal late-term abortions, were later discussed in public by media outlets and a top psychologist yet Planned Parenthood wants them returned.
Kline is now the Johnson County District Attorney and Planned Parenthood’s Overland Park abortion center is within his jurisdiction. He forwarded copies of the abortion records to his new office shortly before leaving the attorney post.
The abortion business filed the lawsuit in June, 2007.
State law says the abortions can only be done in legitimate medical circumstances, but Kline found that all of the abortions in the charges were done for specious reasons such as depression during pregnancy.