Pro-Life Group Wants Court Action on Illegal Abortions at Kansas Planned Parenthood
by Steven Ertelt
February 18, 2010
Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — A pro-life group is calling on the Kansas Supreme Court to get moving on 107 charges Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri is facing that it potentially engaged in illegal abortions. Operation Rescue says the state’s high court has stalled on the case for months.
Former state attorney general Phill Kline, as the then Johnson County District Attorney, filed 107 charges, including 23 felonies, against the abortion business for allegedly violating state law.
The Kansas Supreme Court held a hearing in the case involving the Overland Park Planned Parenthood abortion center last May.
The hearing covered disputed subpoenas filed by Kline and the high court will eventually determine whether subpoenas Kline issued for medical records from the Planned Parenthood facility can be enforced.
Operation Rescue, which is still waiting for the verdict, today launched a petition to send the illegal late-term abortion case to trial.
"Planned Parenthood has been investigated. A judge has found that there is probable cause to believe that it has broken the law," the group’s president, Troy Newman, told LifeNews.com.
"One hundred and seven criminal charges have been filed, twenty three of which are felonies. It’s time to clear the log-jam, put aside political obstructionism, and allow this case to go forward to trial on its merits," he said.
The case began in September 2004 when Kline issued subpoenas for 90 abortion records from Planned Parenthood and the now-closed Women’s Health Care Services, the abortion center run by slain late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller.
The two abortion centers refused to comply, launching Kline on a three-year legal odyssey that involved a complex series of legal maneuvers – many of them conducted in secrecy – that frequently landed the case before the Kansas Supreme Court.
Eventually Kline received the records with all patient identifying information redacted. Those records were the basis for his charges against Planned Parenthood.
However, former Chief Justice Kay McFarland issued an order at the request of the new Attorney General Steven Six, preventing the District Attorney’s office from accessing the evidence against Planned Parenthood, and gagging the custodian of those records, District Court Judge Richard Anderson. Subpoenas for other witnesses were quashed.
Anderson had overseen Kline’s investigation into illegal abortions from the beginning, and went so far as to seek an opinion from a police handwriting expert who confirmed suspicions that certain evidence had been "manufactured" by Planned Parenthood.
On May 13, 2009, the Kansas Supreme Court heard oral arguments on an appeal asking it to reinstate the State’s subpoenas for witnesses against Planned Parenthood and for Anderson’s gag order to be lifted.
The case has since sat dormant with no ruling in sight, Newman complains.
"The criminal case against Planned Parenthood has a complex history that has overshadowed the serious nature of these charges," said Newman. "There has been every effort made by the powers that be in Kansas to impede this case and prevent it from going to trial. That kind of political obstruction in a criminal prosecution is intolerable if public confidence in the integrity of the judiciary is to be maintained."
"Let the witnesses testify and let the evidence come forward at trial and let a judge and jury decide. The petition will let the Court know that the public is watching. It’s time for the secrecy and stonewalling to stop," he concluded.
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