Peter J. Smith

Witness: Phill Kline didn’t need/want adult patient names

Peter J. Smith
Peter J. Smith

Note: For more general background on this important case, click here.

TOPEKA, Kansas, February 28, 2011 ( – Steven Maxwell, Phill Kline’s chief criminal prosecutor during his years as attorney general and then district attorney, told a disciplinary hearing panel that it is “false” that Kline ever sought the names of adult women patients of George Tiller’s clinic in order to prosecute illegal late-term abortions.

Kline faces charges of unethical conduct for allegedly obtaining hotel records and matching them to state medical reports in an effort to identify Tiller’s patients, including adults.

Deputy Disciplinary Administrator Al Walczak on Friday had alleged to Maxwell that Kline would have needed the names, so that Kline could have Tiller’s former adult patients testify about illegal late-term abortions.

But Maxwell, a lieutenant colonel in the Air National Guard, told the disciplinary panel in response that Phill Kline’s investigation was always primarily focused on prosecuting child sex offenders, and so needed the children’s names. But, he said, Kline never needed nor sought the names of adult patients to prosecute the additional aspect of illegal late-term abortions, because all he needed was the medical evidence.

Maxwell also pointed out that Kline’s successor, AG Paul Morrison, had proved that medical files alone would have been sufficient to prosecute the late-term abortions. Morrison later brought his own charges against George Tiller over illegal late-term abortions, without having the names of the adult patients.

Walczak interrogated Maxwell at length about a spreadsheet report containing guest data on Tiller’s child and adult patients from the LaQuinta Inns in Wichita.

Maxwell said that Kline wanted to keep the investigation into child rape moving forward after the Kansas Supreme Court’s February 2005 intervention in the “Alpha Beta” case put a roadblock in their efforts to get the names of the potential child victims of sex abuse. Kline’s office had subpoenaed Planned Parenthood and Tiller’s medical records – but both clinics were fighting the release of that information.

He said the AG’s office learned LaQuinta Inns gave a medical discount to Tiller’s patients, after the death of one of Tiller’s patients. The woman was a mentally disabled 19-year-old, who had been raped and become pregnant – a fact Maxwell said further alarmed them about the danger to children.

Maxwell said Kline wanted to take a “shot in the dark” and thought if they could cross-reference the dates on the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) abortion reports with the dates list of guests at LaQuinta receiving Tiller’s medical discounts, they might get matches that would help them find the names of the children.

He said they expected they would find the names of adults, because children never register in a hotel under their names and would have travelling companions – potentially their rapists.

Walczak asserted that he and Kline must have known that they would also get the names of adult patients. Maxwell, however, responded that it was never their intention to do so. He said it is typical for law enforcement to get a lot of information they don’t need when conducting a drag-net operation.

“We separate the wheat from the chaff,” he said.

Walczak then asked about the spreadsheet compiled by Williams’s assistant, Jared Reed, that included information about Kansas and non-Kansas female patients over 16-years-old who underwent late-term abortions over 22 weeks.

Maxwell said Reed was a very conscientious employee known for doing a thorough job. He said it is possible that Williams, a veteran former FBI agent with 31 years experience who was “computer illiterate,” “didn’t know what a spreadsheet was” much less how to create one. He said Williams might not have been clear enough with Reed that he only wanted data on the children and potential adult escorts – a possibility that Williams himself acknowledged on the stand earlier in the week.

Maxwell also explained that Reed’s report on the adults never made it into the AG file. He added that Williams, who reported directly to him, never gave him any such document that included the names of adult patients. He said he only became aware of its existence as a result of the ethics investigation.

Furthermore, he said that if they wanted the names of adult women, they could have used the exemption in the federal HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) rules that allows prosecutors to obtain full medical files for an investigation.

“We could have done it. But it wasn’t considered by Mr. Williams or myself,” he said. “It wasn’t our desires.”

The effort, which he said was not unethical, ultimately did not pan out. “Police officers routinely waste their time going down these avenues,” he added.

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Brian Fisher

Birth mothers: real heroes of the pro-life movement

Brian Fisher
By Brian Fisher

What does it mean to be brave? Is it the doctor who dedicates himself to improving the health of a third-world nation? Is it the woman who faces her third round of chemotherapy to fight the progression of cancer? Is it the teacher who forgoes the comforts of a suburban school to reach minorities in the inner city? All of these are examples of bravery demonstrated in exceedingly challenging circumstances. And our society longs for stories of bravery to inspire us and fill us with hope.

As someone who works day in and day out with those on the front lines of helping rescue babies from abortion, I’m no stranger to stories of bravery. I see courage every day in the eyes of the men and women who sacrifice their time and energy to help women facing unplanned pregnancies. I see it every time a young mom — despite being pressured by her parents or significant other to get an abortion — chooses LIFE. And perhaps more profoundly than in any other situation, I see it when an expectant mom with no relational support, job, or income chooses to place her baby for adoption rather than abort her son or daughter.

This was Nicky’s situation.

When Nicky found herself pregnant with her boyfriend’s child, her life was already in shambles. During her 26 years, Nicky had already given birth to and surrendered sole custody of a little girl, committed several felonies, lived in her car, lost several jobs, and barely subsisted on minimum wage. So when she met up with an old boyfriend, Brandon, Nicky believed she was being given a second chance at happiness. “Our first year together was beautiful. We were getting to know each other and deciding if we would stay together forever.” Unfortunately, a positive pregnancy test result changed everything.

“When I told him I was pregnant, Brandon sat down on the bed, looked me in the eyes, and told me to ‘get an abortion’.” Nicky says those three little words changed everything for her. “I became depressed living with someone who wanted his child ‘dealt with.’”  Like thousands of women every day, Nicky began searching online for information on abortion, hoping her boyfriend would eventually change his mind. Through our strategic marketing methods, Online for Life was able to guide Nicky to a life-affirming pregnancy center where she received grace-filled counsel. “The woman I sat with was beyond wonderful. She helped me to just breathe and ask God what to do….And so I did.”

Nicky left the pregnancy center that day with a new resolve to choose life for her child, even though she still wasn’t sure how she’d financially support a child. “I was alone with just $10 in my pocket…and without any type of plan for what I was going to do.” So Nicky relied on the support of the staff she met at the life-affirming pregnancy center. With their help and through a chain of fortunate events, Nicky was put in contact with the couple who would eventually become her daughter’s adoptive parents.

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After meeting this couple face to face and coming to terms with her own desperate situation, Nicky conceded that the best thing for her unborn child would be to place her in someone else’s loving home. She told Brandon about her plans and he agreed that adoption would give their child the best chance at a happy and secure future. He even returned home to help Nicky prepare for the birth of their child. “The weeks leading up to my delivery were filled with a mixture of laughter, tears, protectiveness and sadness,” Nicky recalls. But one sentiment continued to be shared with her. “Brave…so brave.” That’s what everyone from the life-affirming pregnancy center to the adoption agency to the birthing center kept calling Nicky. “The nurses kept coming up to me and telling me they were honored to care for and treat someone like me.” After several weeks of preparation, Nicky finally gave birth to a healthy baby girl, and she made the dreams of a couple from the other side of the country come true.

Nicky’s adoption story continues to be riddled with a strange combination of pain and joy. “I cry every day, but I know my baby, who came out of a very bad time, ended up being loved by people from across the country.” When asked what message she’d like to share with the world about her decision to give up her child for adoption, Nicky responds, The voice of the mother who gives up a baby for adoption isn’t heard. We need to change that.”

To learn more about Online for Life and how we’re helping to make stories like Nicky and her daughter’s story a possibility, please visit

Author, speaker, and business leader Brian Fisher is the President and Co-Founder of Online for Life, a transparent, metric-oriented, compassion-driven nonprofit organization dedicated to helping rescue babies and their families from abortion through technology and grace.

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New York farmers stop hosting weddings after $13,000 fine for declining lesbian ceremony

Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin
By Dustin Siggins

New York farmers Robert and Cynthia Gifford, who were ordered last week to pay $13,000 for not hosting a same-sex "wedding," say they are closing that part of their operation.

"Going forward, the Giffords have decided to no longer host any wedding ceremonies on their farm, other than the ones already under contract," said Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) lawyer James Trainor. ADF represented the Giffords in their legal fight against New York's non-discrimination law.

Last week, the Giffords were ordered to pay a $10,000 fine to the state of New York and $3,000 in damages to a lesbian couple, Jennifer McCarthy and Melisa Erwin, who approached them in 2012 about hosting their "wedding." The Giffords, who are Roman Catholic, said their religious convictions would not let them host the ceremony, but that McCarthy and Erwin could hold their reception on their property.

Unbeknownst to the Giffords, lesbian couple recorded the two-to-three minute conversation. After declining to hold the reception on the Giffords' farm, on which they live and rent property, the lesbian couple decided to make a formal complaint to the state's Division of Human Rights.

Eventually, Judge Migdalia Pares ruled that the Giffords' farm, Liberty Ridge Farm, constitutes a public accommodation because space is rented on the grounds and fees are collected from the public. The Giffords argued that because they live on the property with their children, they should be exempt from the state law, but Pares said that this does not mean their business is private.

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Trainor told TheBlaze that the Giffords' decision to end wedding ceremonies at Liberty Ridge “will hurt their business in the short run," but that was preferable to violating their religious beliefs.

“The Giffords serve all people with respect and care. They have hired homosexual employees and have hosted events for same-sex couples,” he said.

However, "since the state of New York has essentially compelled them to do all ceremonies or none at all, they have chosen the latter in order to stay true to their religious convictions," Trainor explained to LifeSiteNews. "No American should be forced by the government to choose between their livelihood and their faith, but that’s exactly the choice the state of New York has forced upon the Giffords."

"They will continue to host wedding receptions," said Trainor.

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Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

South African mom files ‘wrongful life’ lawsuit on behalf of Downs son

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus
By Thaddeus Baklinski

A South African woman has launched a "wrongful life" lawsuit against the Cape Town-based Foetal Assessment Centre, claiming a failure to inform her that the child she was carrying was at risk of having Down Syndrome prevented her from aborting her baby.

A twist in this lawsuit is that, unlike other "wrongful birth" lawsuits, the mother in this case missed the time limit to file the claim on her own behalf, so she is asking the South African Constitutional Court to allow her to sue the center for “wrongful life” on behalf of her now-born son.

“You have a duty to tell my mother carrying me that I'm malformed so that she can make an informed decision as to whether or not to carry me to term,” the statement of claim against the Foetal Assessment Centre reads, according to SABC News.

“It is not as if the foetus is sort of putting up its hand and saying why you didn’t destroy me," the mother's lawyer, Paul Hoffman, explained to Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke. "The foetus is complaining that its malformation, its development is the result of the bad advice that was given.”

The SABC report did not say what compensation the woman is seeking.

The scope of the case is similar to that of a New Zealand couple who won a lawsuit claiming monetary compensation after a routine 20 week ultrasound scan failed to discover that their daughter had spina bifida.

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The mother, whose name has not been released, claimed that the continuance of the pregnancy was a “personal injury,” and, had she been given the correct diagnosis after that scan, she would have aborted her daughter.

"We consider that the continued pregnancy of the appellant following a misdiagnosis in the 20 week scan is capable of being an injury suffered by the appellant,” the court ruled, and directed the New Zealand Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) to make the woman eligible for compensation for the ongoing surgical and physiotherapy expenses incurred by their child.

New Zealand disability advocate Mike Sullivan said the underpinning attitude behind the decision is that those with disability, both born and unborn, are seen as a burden on society.

“This is what happens,” Sullivan said, when “the children become reduced to nothing – wrong even to exist.”


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