TOPEKA, Kansas, August 21, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Kansas officials hastily dropped the last of Phill Kline’s hard-won charges against Planned Parenthood because documents disproving their excuse for keeping the felony charges from ever seeing a courtroom were about to come to light, the state’s top pro-life leader has alleged.
On Friday, Johnson Country District Attorney Steve Howe suddenly announced, three days earlier than expected, he had dropped the remaining 32 misdemeanor charges against Comprehensive Health of Planned Parenthood of Overland Park (CHPP). The announcement wrapped up a process begun November 2011, when Howe dismissed the 49 most serious charges because, he said, the evidence in question had been destroyed by the Sebelius administration years ago.
But in an immediate response, Kansas-based national pro-life group Operation Rescue said that only days earlier, it had used the Kansas Open Records Act to obtain records proving the very same evidence - copies of state abortion records - still exist.
Records show the abortion documents were placed in the custody of the Shawnee County Clerk of the Court under seal on January 12 by Judge Richard Anderson, who had kept the records up to that point. Howe, who was responsible for continuing former District Attorney Phill Kline’s 2003 investigation of Planned Parenthood, had apparently never asked to see them.
Operation Rescue president Troy Newman on Friday alleged that Howe torpedoed the remaining charges on a fast-tracked schedule because he learned of Operation Rescue’s request. Newman said the events proved Howe’s actions were “the result of a wide-spread criminal conspiracy to obstruct justice.”
“Unless he is completely incompetent, Howe surely read this order and was aware that a pristine copy of the records existed,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman.
“This means Howe intentionally walked into open court and lied to Judge Tatum about the records in order to prevent the prosecution of Planned Parenthood on the most serious criminal charges.” OR says it plans to file an ethics complaint against Howe, and called for his immediate resignation.
Other new documents help fill out the intricate tale, one pro-life leaders say paints a detailed portrait of deep-seated corruption between government and abortionists in Kansas.
For example, the group said it obtained emails showing Planned Parenthood asked Kansas health officials to hand over four years’ of state-held patient information in 2005, only weeks before the abortion group lost its fight to keep Kline from obtaining their private records. The records show state health officials complying with the request the next day.
After a judge later voiced suspicion about the records’ authenticity, a handwriting expert determined that state abortion records didn’t match Planned Parenthood’s, indicating abortionists likely forged and planted records inside patient files at a later date.
The same judge, Richard Anderson, testified in 2008 that he then decided to “sit tight” and keep a copy of the records, refusing the Sebelius administration’s demand that he hand them back to abortionists.
“And sit on them he did,” said Operation Rescue, “but everything is still far from cleared up.” Sebelius officials later obtained a court order gagging Anderson from testifying at any further hearings.
Even current Kansas governor Sam Brownback’s administration played along, according to Newman, by disingenuously pretending the copies didn’t exist.
After Howe’s dismissal in November, Kansas attorney general Derek Schmidt publicly promised to conduct an investigation into whether the records existed anywhere, but apparently never bothered to ask Judge Anderson himself: OR’s attempt to uncover evidence of such a request came up dry.
View Operation Rescue’s full report here.