Abortion Doc Who Dumped Patient Records May Not be Charged

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 28, 2012   |   11:26AM   |   Washington, DC

An abortion practitioner who dumped thousands of patient records in a recycling bin may not be criminally charged in connection with his actions.

On a tip from a local woman, the Kansas City Star newspaper recovered over 1,000 abortion medical records from 2001-2002 that were illegally dumped in a public recycling bin by abortion practitioner Krishna Rajanna. The files contained names, addresses and other sensitive information about abortion patients at his now-closed Affordable Medical Center abortion facility.

The newspaper has since turned the documents over to the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts. The documents could be used as evidence in a possible criminal case but Johnson County District Attorney, Steve Howe, said yesterday he doesn’t anticipate filing legal charges as it is not clear whether federal medical privacy laws apply.

According to an AP report, “Howe said his office will examine whether Rajanna’s actions violated state consumer protection laws, which are enforced through civil lawsuits, and it may contact federal officials about potential violations of patient privacy laws. Meanwhile, the Board of Healing Arts’ general counsel said it will consider going to court to have an outside custodian take possession of any remaining records from the clinic. Rajanna told The Associated Press he still has documents stored in his home.”

Howe said, “We don’t believe at this point, based on the information that we have, any criminal charges will be filed.”

Several lawmakers have pointed out that Kansas law requires medical providers to keep patients’ records for at least 10 years and protects privacy when patient records are discarded.

“It definitely needs to be investigated,” said House Majority Leader Arlen Siegfreid, an Olathe Republican.

Rajanna claims he dumped the records to protect the environment, saying he expected to recycling bin to be emptied quickly.

“We could burn them up, I suppose, but that just puts more carbon into the air,” he said. “Recycling would be the better way.”

“I thought that these would be recycled away just like any other papers,” Rajanna told the Kansas City Star. “I could just incinerate them just as well, I suppose. But usually that means we are creating more smoke.”

According to the pro-life group Operation Rescue, based in Kansas, Rajanna lost his medical license and was forced to close his abortion clinic in 2005 after pro-life supporters obtained photographs of filthy conditions and appalling practices inside his abortion clinic and circulated them publicly. Kansas City Police Detective William Howard who conducted an investigation at Rajanna’s clinic submitted a statement to the state legislature testifying to conditions so horrific that he was sickened by them and that he was stunned by allegations of the staff that Rajanna engaged in cannibalism.

Rajanna’s case helped fuel the passage of a 2005 clinic regulations bill in the Kansas Legislature that was later vetoed by then Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, who now serves as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services.

“The illegal dumping of private abortion medical records is common in the abortion industry,” said Troy Newman President of Operation Rescue and Pro-Life Nation. “Through undercover investigations around the nation, we have obtained hundreds of illegally dumped abortion records containing just about every imaginable kind of sensitive medical and personal information. But the HHS under Sebelius, which seems to be the governing authority, has virtually ignored violations by abortion clinics.”

Newman said abortion patient privacy issues scandalized Kansas for years after former Attorney General Phill Kline began investigating abortion clinics in 2003.

His subpoena for medical records from two abortion clinics turned into a legal war that is still being waged in Kansas courts and has been aggressively obstructed by members of the Sebelius administration. Those medical records eventually served as the basis for 107 criminal charges against Planned Parenthood, a total of 49 criminal charges against late-term abortionist George Tiller, a medical board disciplinary petition against Tiller that could have revoked his medical license, and the recent license revocation of Tiller’s associate Ann Kristin Neuhaus. Fifty-eight criminal counts remain pending against Planned Parenthood.

“Sebelius was deeply dedicated to protecting abortionists in Kansas who were violating the law, and now we see that her Federal agency virtually ignores privacy violations committed by abortionists,” said Newman. “The Sebelius administration was hysterical about patient privacy when Attorney General Kline was investigation criminal action at abortion clinics. But when it is abortion clinics violating patient privacy, her agency turns a blind eye. It reveals the truth that the Sebelius agenda is all about shielding shoddy abortion mills from accountability under the law. That hasn’t changed.”