The door to a trial on 107 counts, including 23 felonies, pending against Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri has been opened by the Kansas Supreme Court, which issued an opinion documenting how a district judge criticized the state attorney general at the time for issuing a letter clearing the abortion business.
The long-running case against Planned Parenthood for allegedly violating state law regarding late-term abortions reached a milestone just days ago when the court’s ruling was released.
“This is a huge victory for the cause of life,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman, whose group has worked for years to bring Planned Parenthood to justice.
The Kansas Supreme Court, seated from left to right: Lawton Nuss, Robert Davis, Marla Luckert. Standing left to right: Lee Johnson, Carol Beier, Eric Rosen and Dan Biles.
“Now it is up to the Johnson County district attorney to do the right thing and prosecute Planned Parenthood to the fullest in the interest of justice and in the interest of public safety,” Newman said.
The decision comes into a state atmosphere in Kansas permeated by pro-abortion advocates, from members of the Supreme Court appointed by pro-abortion then-Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, now Health and Human Services secretary, to political campaigns supported by abortionists specifically to remove a pro-life candidate from influence.
The case was assembled in 2007 by then-District Attorney Phill Kline, who had investigated Planned Parenthood and longtime abortionist George Tiller for illegal late-term abortions during his tenure as state attorney general.
The charges came just four months after Kline’s successor as attorney general, Paul Morrison, sent Planned Parenthood a letter absolving them of any wrongdoing.
However, the court opinion reveals that Judge Richard Anderson, who oversaw Kline’s investigation, was troubled by the evidence and noted that he believed that Morrison should never had sent such a letter.
A short time later, Morrison resigned amid a sex and corruption scandal where he was accused of trying to use his illicit lover to spy on Kline’s abortion investigations for the purpose of obstructing them.
Newman said the case had been held up for nearly two years by the state Supreme Court. The questions before the court were over the use of sealed evidence and information from Planned Parenthood.
“This case has been marred by continued delay and political corruption that has caused public confidence in the system to be diminished. In the interest of justice and closure for the people of Kansas, this case must go to trial,” Newman said. “Anything less will only reinforce the belief that political corruption is alive and well in the state of Kansas.
“Let both sides make their arguments and let a jury decide based on the evidence. That is the American way,” he said.
There was no immediate response on what would happen next from Johnson County District Attorney Stephen Howe’s office, to which the Supreme Court returned the case.
Newman told WND that although the case now apparently can move toward trial, the court ruling gutted some of the evidence that might have been used against Planned Parenthood. The opinion noted that Anderson had raised questions about whether some of the documentation submitted in the court case might have been fraudulent. The court’s opinion said, however, the documents needed for comparison were not allowed as evidence, nor could those who had access to them testify about them from their memory.
The court’s ruling specifically found: “A judge who becomes a custodian of abortion clinic patient records that have been redacted to remove patient-identifying information and then produced in an inquisition may be ordered to bring those documents to court to facilitate a criminal prosecution based on those records. … However, the judge, by virtue of his participation in the inquisition, is not automatically transformed into an expert witness who may give opinion testimony on the issue of the defendant clinics’ criminal culpability.”
Further, the court said testimony is not allowed about state health department records that are designated confidential.
“Witnesses are not permitted to testify from memory on the contents of the [medical] reports filed by [Planned Parenthood] as they currently exist in the agency’s files.”
Anderson explained, according to the court decision, how he’d been concerned enough by the appearance of the abortion records that he handled to call in an outside expert.
“I took it on myself to ask a detective from the police department in Topeka to do a windshield of … records .. and give me an opinion as to whether the documents appeared to be photocopies of one another. She confirmed that there was a question about the records,” the judge said.
The records suspected of being altered came into the case when a lawyer and two doctors reviewing for redaction confidential medical records noticed some required information was not included. They asked Planned Parenthood for the information, and the suspect documents then were submitted.
The complicated fight has included a long list of cases, including repeated requests by abortion interests to the state Supreme Court to stifle demands for information. The dispute includes 23 felony allegations of violating the state’s law on false information, and misdemeanors regarding maintaining records, determining the viability of the unborn baby and the unlawful performance of late-term abortions.
According to a statement from Kline to Operation Rescue, the opinion demonstrates how state officials were trying to thwart the investigation.
Kline now is on the faculty of the Liberty University School of Law and runs his own StandWithTruth.com website.