Kansas case against Planned Parenthood delayed after key evidence destroyed
KANSAS CITY, Kansas, October 24, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A judge has delayed the Kansas Planned Parenthood 107-count criminal case after the destruction of original abortion records from 2003. Johnson County prosecutors say the records, which are key to the country’s first criminal case against Planned Parenthood, were shredded sometime in 2005 during the administration of pro-abortion supporter and former Governor Kathleen Sebelius, now the Secretary of the U.S Department of Health and Human Services.
“It’s remarkable. The Sebelius administration fought us in court. These records were relevant. They destroyed the originals without telling us,” former Kansas Attorney General and Liberty University Visiting Assistant Professor of Law Phill Kline told LifeSiteNews (LSN). “Copies can still be used by the prosecution. Where are those?”
“The Kansas print media don’t want to ask any questions. The Kansas City Star won the Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Maggie Award for Media Excellence in 2006,” Kline said.
Judge Stephen Tatum delayed the preliminary hearing Monday after last week’s news of the destruction of the records. Then-Attorney General Phill Kline had subpoenaed them in 2004 in his investigations of the failure to report 166 potential cases of child rape.
The judge declined a motion for dismissal by attorneys for the Planned Parenthood abortion clinic of Overland, Park, Kansas and instead, gave Johnson County prosecutors until November 9 to replace the shredded records. Filed in 2004, the case has been largely centered on the fight over access to the records, which are needed to compare records Kline acquired with records Planned Parenthood later submitted.
“Since routine procedure is to preserve documents that are the subject of a subpoena, as these documents were, this report raises alarming questions about the rule of law in Kansas - a state that has determined to prosecute a good man, Phil Kline, for doing his duty in bringing potentially criminal activity into the light of day,” Alliance Defense Fund senior legal counsel Steven Aden told LSN, referencing the Kansas disciplinary board case against Kline. “Intentional destruction of evidence is a serious charge, and if Planned Parenthood has been complicit in this criminal act, it should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
The Kansas Planned Parenthood case could jeopardize $350 million in federal Title X funding to the abortion giant, according to Operation Rescue. Planned Parenthood must obey federal and state laws in order to receive Title X funds, and a Kansas conviction would disqualify the organization.
“One of the things that the Kansas disciplinary board’s prosecutors said about my own situation was that I violated ethics. In my defense, I pointed out that it would undermine the investigation,” Kline said. “Now, look what happened. They lost and started to destroy documents. What I said happened. It’s amazing.”