Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline believes that it is his job to see that the laws are followed, but he ran into a brick wall when he concluded the laws that apply to the abortion industry, such as reporting an assault when a 10-year-old has an abortion, ALSO must be upheld.
He soon found out why: hundreds of millions of dollars that American taxpayers each year turn over to Planned Parenthood, a leading provider in the abortion industry.
So now he’s working on taking that wall down, one brick at a time. He told WND in an exclusive interview that he’s not giving up, and he’ll win because the law is on his side.
“We’ve got them on the hill they will die on,” he told WND in an interview. “They are defending abortion clinics as safe havens for child rapists.”
When he was elected in 2002, he noticed a peculiarity of laws in most states and jurisdictions.
“Nobody has been willing to enforce the abortion laws against Planned Parenthood,” he said. And some of the situations just screamed for attention.
For example, when there are abortions performed on underage children, by law and by definition there has been a sexual assault on a child. In Kansas a person under 16 legally cannot consent to sex, and abortions cannot be performed past 22 weeks. However, those cases simply weren’t being reported, he said.
He started working, watching the situation, developing evidence, and assembling arguments. Soon he found that, just like in many other cases ranging from assault to homicide, he needed the medical records to pursue his investigation.
In court, he sought the redacted clinic records from 90 abortion cases across the state.
It was as if the world fell in and he discovered the reason why the opposition to his work was so fierce.
Under federal rules, the abortion industry leader must follow state laws regarding abortion, notification and other issues if it is to get tax money each year from American citizens – an estimated $227 million this year alone, Kline said.
So any prosecutor who is looking into situations that potentially could have legal implications, such as late-term abortions that don’t meet the specified state guidelines, or those abortions administered on underage girls where no assault report is filed, the industry’s reaction is going to be serious because of the potential threat to the cash flow.
In Kline’s case he was opposed for his views on abortion during his first campaign, attacked when he started his work in office, and still is being attacked as he’s seeking re-election in a few weeks.
His opponent is Johnson County District Attorney Paul Morrison, who is trailing Kline by a few points in many polls to date.
The matchup has Kline highlighting Morrison’s authorship a bill that shortened paroles and released prison inmates early, and citing a Kansas Department of Corrections memo explaining that the bill allowed 800 criminals to be released early and thousands more have their paroles shortened. More than 1,500 have since revisited Kansas’ court system, “and those are just the ones we caught,” Kline said.
Morrison, meanwhile, portrays Kline as someone who wants to invade women’s privacy by seeking medical records from abortionists.
Absolutely true that he wanted medical records, Kline told WND. Absolutely false that he was seeking medical records that are identifiable to a particular individual. He said he just wants records that can be inspected to determine whether a “medical provider” at an abortion clinic is, in fact, following the state’s various laws, just like many other cases.
He recognizes the reason for the opposition. He noted that Planned Parenthood at one point listed him among the group’s “domestic terrorists” list because of his work.
“They want my scalp,” he told WND. “(They want to say) this used to be an attorney general, so any of you AG’s thinking about enforcing the law, this is what will happen to you.”
An Ohio woman, Jennifer Jiroux, who works with Citizens for Community Values, told WND the nation needs more prosecutors like Kline. She cited as an example a recent case in which a 12-year-old was taken to an abortion clinic after an assault by a soccer coach, an assault that wasn’t uncovered until some teachers overheard school children teasing the 12-year-old.
Where are those individuals who are supposed to report sexual assaults on children? she wondered.
Kline said one other AG, Steve Carter of Indiana, also is filing charges for such cases, and others are watching closely.
How Kline got the steamroller going was simple in Kansas. It’s a commonly used procedure in which prosecutors have a proceeding in front of a judge, and the judge reviews evidence and can issue search warrants or compel witnesses to appear.
In the case involving 90 abortions — for which Kline most commonly is vilified — he did just that, and the judge, Richard Anderson, found probable cause to suspect that there had been child rape, the failure to report child rape, possible criminal late-term and partial-birth abortions, and other counts.
“I never sought the identity of the women,” Kline said. “The judge had agreed to a request to redact their names when the medical records were provided.”
One situation involved a 10-year-old who had an abortion. State records confirmed she was nine when she was assaulted. Records also show that in 2003 alone, 78 girls under the age of 15 had abortions in Kansas. By law, that amounts to 78 cases of sexual assault on a child.
Anderson’s conclusion to Kline’s records request was that, “Without access to the medical records, how is the attorney general going to make a reasonably informed judgment as to whether the records do or do not contain evidence of a crime?”
But abortion industry interests then, he said, “came loaded for bear.”
That industry, he said, immediately following Anderson’s ruling filed a mandamus action with the state Supreme Court, essentially arguing that somebody wasn’t doing their constitutional duty.
“The whole thing is private thus far,” Kline said. “I don’t announce investigations.”
However, the clinics made a motion with the court to make the investigation public and asked permission to contact “patients.”
“We filed a motion objecting, as harmful to the investigation. Plus when you’ve got a 10-year-old who had a late-term abortion and nobody called the cops… Who do you think they’re going to call (when they call ‘patients’) but the rapist?”
The Supreme Court granted that motion, and the clinics held a news conference to condemn Kline for seeking “full unredacted medical histories” of 90 adult women and children.
“What they were denying us under the law they were giving to PACs,” Kline said.
The ultimate result of the appeals process affirmed Kline’s request, and there have been a number of convictions as a result.
“Now we’ve had cases referred out on child rape. We’ve actually had a prosecution and a conviction,” Kline said. In one Wichita, Kan., case one defendant pleaded guilty to five counts of raping his stepdaughters.
The case involved four pregnancies and several abortions, but no one had called police, Kline said, until one of the babies was born, and the adoption agency that the family approached “saw through the ruse.”
Six different counties in Kansas have been able to prosecute – so far – as a result of Kline’s work.
Kline said besides the direct opposition to his efforts, another side is the financial support given to anyone who opposes him. In the last election, a donation of $300,000 was given, reportedly originally from an abortionist, to a PAC just nine days before the election.
Kline said that avoided the state requirement that PAC reports must be filed within 10 days. The money was used for a massive radio campaign criticizing Kline, he said.
Flip Benham, of Operation Save America, noted that Kansas’ most famous abortionist, George Tiller of Wichita is famous for his late-term abortion services, and he compared Tiller to another Wichita man, Dennis Rader.
Rader was convicted of being the BTK (bind, torture, kill) killer who was arrested years after he killed a number of people.
Benham said neither respects any life but their own, and they both like to operate behind walls of secrecy. He also noted both are members in good standing in their respective churches.
“Unfortunately for the citizens in the city of Wichita and all of us in America, both men are inhabited by the same spirit of murder. This spirit, once unleashed … knows no bounds and only increases in ferocity,” Benham wrote.
One supporter of the organization noted that Kansas current governor, Kathleen Sebelius, “is pro abortion to the max and has done everything she can, including stripping funds from the A.G. office to a minimum, to deem him ineffective.”
The clinics denied any wrongdoing.
“Our clients have followed the law and will continue to do so,” lawyer Lee Thompson wrote.
Kline also has sued officials in his own state – at the direction of the state Legislature – to stop state funding of abortions. Elmer Feldkamp of Baileyville, president of Right to Life of Kansas, said it is an attempt to substantiate that human life begins at conception.
But abortion promoters even were critical of Kline’s decision to follow the orders from the state House.
“He continues to use his office to push extreme ideologies on the state of Kansas,” Traci Gleason, spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of Kansas, said at the time.