Planned Parenthood moved to bar words ‘child’ and ‘baby’ from courtroom
OLATHE, Kansas, April 16, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Planned Parenthood in Kansas moved to silence certain details of their abortion business while facing accusations of aborting babies beyond the gestational age legal in the state, according to documents unsealed last week.
Judge Stephen Tatum unsealed the documents in a criminal case brought by Kansas state prosecutors against the abortion group involving 58 counts related to illegal late-term abortions. Planned Parenthood, who originally faced charges alongside Kansas late-term abortionist George Tiller, is seeking dismissal of all charges.
According to records obtained by Operation Rescue, Planned Parenthood had moved to censor or cast doubt upon state prosecutors’ case under a long list of rationales.
Operation Rescue said that the abortion group had moved to ignore a 2005 law extending the statute of limitations, to question jurors about their religious beliefs, and to prohibit prosecutors from asking about the cost of abortions, handwriting discrepancies in abortion reports, or the weight of the unborn children aborted - and even from using the terms “late-term abortion,” “child,” “baby,” and “infant” in the courtroom, or referring to slain unborn children as abortion “victims.”
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Planned Parenthood is accused of failing to determine viability for at least 26 abortions in 2003. While they determined gestational age, they failed to apply more than a blanket designation of non-viability to babies 24 weeks and under. Kansas law at that time mandated a determination of viability at 22 weeks or later.
Operation Rescue speculated that Planned Parenthood moved to prohibit testimony about the weight of unborn children’s remains because it could prove the babies were well beyond viability, and questioned the motion to cross-examine jurors on religious beliefs.
“They want no one with a moral compass standing in judgment of them,” said Newman. “This leaves only those who support abortion eligible for the jury, and that is just as prejudicial to the state’s case. This motion exposes Planned Parenthood’s extreme bigotry against those whose faith differs from theirs.”
The charges are based on abortion records obtained through subpoena by former Attorney General Phill Kline after a grueling three-year legal battle with Planned Parenthood that also met with several obstacles from the administration of former governor Kathleen Sebelius, who now serves as federal Health and Human Services Secretary. Later in 2007, as District Attorney of Johnson County, Kline filed the criminal case against Planned Parenthood that originally consisted of 107 charges.
Forty-eight of those charges were dismissed by Judge Tatum after it was discovered that crucial evidence to support them had been destroyed by Sebelius appointee Steve Six during his tenure as Attorney General. A criminal investigation was ordered to determine who destroyed the evidence, but Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor, who has expressed support for abortion, closed the investigation without a conclusion.
District Attorney Steve Howe, who is prosecuting the case he inherited from Kline, has yet to answer Planned Parenthood’s motions. A scheduling conference has been set for July 11, when the court will determine how much additional time might be needed for responses.
No trial date has been set and none is likely in the foreseeable future.
“Howe’s answers will be a great indication to us if he has the will to prosecute this case against the largest and most politically powerful abortion provider in the state,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue and Pro-Life Nation. “Will he do his duty, or allow himself to be cowed by political pressure? That remains to be seen.”
Click here for more information on the Kansas Planned Parenthood trial.