In 2002, I was working with the irrepressible Mark Crutcher of Life Dynamics on a separate project when he shared with me the results of a soon-to-be released study.
A little naïve about such things at the time, I volunteered to try to get the study results into the mainstream media through my then-good contacts at the Kansas City Star. The results struck me as highly newsworthy.
Life Dynamics had recruited a young actress to impersonate a 13-year-old girl. The actress called 813 Planned Parenthood and National Abortion Federation centers across the country and taped the conversations, a legal action in Texas where the calls originated.
The seeming 13-year-old told the intake person about her circumstances. Her 22-year-old boyfriend had impregnated her, and she wanted an abortion to keep her parents from finding out.
Although adult sex with underage children is illegal in every state, and in most states abortion clinics are subject to mandatory reporter laws on child abuse, 91 percent of all clinics contacted expressed a willingness to help the girl destroy the evidence of statutory rape.
Back in Kansas City, I offered Arthur Brisbane, then the Star publisher and now the public editor of the New York Times, an exclusive on the story. It had a local angle to boot. One of the culprits was Planned Parenthood’s abortion clinic in a Kansas suburb of Kansas City. Brisbane had no interest.
That same year, 2002, Republican Phill Kline was elected attorney general of Kansas, and Democrat Kathleen Sebelius was elected governor. They had different agendas.
Kline wanted to know how Kansas, despite tough laws he had helped write as a legislator, had emerged as the world capital of late-term abortions. Sebelius did not want to know or want anyone else to know, either.
Kline quickly discovered that abortions performed on under-aged girls were not being reported to the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, or SRS, as mandated by law.
The purpose of the mandatory reporting laws is to remove a child from a situation in which the abuse is likely to happen again. What made the failure to report at Penn State so disturbing is that the accused predator was enabled to continue abusing the children under his sway.
Unlike Penn State, whose personnel were caught off guard, abortion clinic workers willfully ignore reporting laws. They have an economic and ideological interest in doing so. To do otherwise would potentially scare away business if their reporting becomes known.
As the video stings on the various Planned Parenthood clinics by Lila Rose’s Live Action crew have shown, these abusive scenarios are well understood by clinic workers. “We want as little information as possible,” said one worker, who might as well have been speaking for the whole industry and the media that protect it.
To track the reporting failure, Kline needed the abortion records kept by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, or KDHE, which, like the SRS, was now being run by Sebelius appointees. Although these records are kept for law-enforcement purposes, both agencies resisted in every which way they could.
It took Kline years of legal haggling to get the records. They showed that in the years 2002 and 2003, 166 girls under 15 had abortions at Kansas clinics, the great majority of them at George Tiller’s clinic in Wichita or Planned Parenthood’s in suburban Kansas City. Only two of them were reported to SRS, and both of those stories were already in the news.
Unable to stop Kline legally, Sebelius persuaded a popular Republican district attorney to switch parties to run against Kline in 2006. Through various cut-ours, Tiller invested nearly $2 million in the anti-Kline effort. And the Star won Planned Parenthood’s top editorial honor for its virulent campaign against “Snoop Dog” Kline. Kline lost.
In a wonderful twist, Republican precinct captains elected Kline to take the DA spot vacated by Sebelius’ new attorney general. Planned Parenthood just happened to be in that county. In October 2007, Kline charged Planned Parenthood with committing 107 criminal acts, including 23 felonies for manufacturing documents – the first criminal charges ever brought against Planned Parenthood anywhere.
Although the usual suspects saw to Kline’s re-election defeat in 2008, new Johnson County DA Steve Howe continued the case Kline had launched. Last week, however, Howe had to ask that the felony charges be dropped. As he had just learned, the evidence had been destroyed.
As the Star reported on Thursday, “All copies of key documents needed to support those charges no longer exist.” Sebelius’s hand-picked attorney general, Steve Six, destroyed the certified copies in 2009, and the Sebelius-run KDHE destroyed the original records in 2005.
Unchastened by the Penn State scandal, the Star chose to spin the scandal now known locally as “Shreddergate” with the celebratory headline, “Kansas judge dismisses felony charges against Planned Parenthood.”
“I think it’s a good time for us to do some soul searching, every institution, not just Penn State, about what our priorities are,” said President Obama in the wake of the scandal. Good idea.
The president might begin by asking Sebelius to resign as secretary of Health and Human Services. He might next ask Planned Parenthood to come clean about its own practices and cut off federal funding until it does.
Finally, Obama and the media might stop their sanctimonious prattling about one extraordinary case at Penn State until they acknowledge their own cover-up of the everyday horrors chez Planned Parenthood.