March 16, 2005
Topeka The head of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri today said Atty. Gen. Phill Kline is seeking the clinic records clinic of 29 women, most of whom are adults.
Peter Brownlie, president and chief executive of the Overland Park clinic which performs abortions, said Kline's investigation, which has gained national attention, was producing fear and outrage among women.
"Investigate us, if he must, we have nothing to hide. He doesn't have the right to invade the privacy and confidentiality of women who are not subjects of the investigation," Brownlie said.
Brownlie, several legislators and a doctor held a news conference blasting Kline for his investigation into the Planned Parenthood clinic and a Wichita clinic well-known for performing late-term abortions.
Kline has said the records are needed as part of an investigation into allegations of child rape and late-term abortions.
As part of a secret investigation, a Shawnee County district judge issued subpoenas for the records of 90 patients at the two clinics. The probe was brought to light when the clinics asked the Kansas Supreme Court to stop the subpoenas.
The clinics have accused Kline of going on a "fishing expedition." County prosecutors have sided with Kline saying the court's intervention would hamper criminal investigations.
Today, Brownlie said the Planned Parenthood clinic was in the process of notifying the girls and women that their records had been subpoenaed. He said three-fourths of the women were adults.
Brownlie also accused Kline of breaking a previous gag order in the case by distributing to the media transcripts of closed court hearings in the case.
In a statement issued by Kline, the attorney general said medical records are routinely sought during investigations, he would never release private medical information, and that the requested records would be reviewed by a judge.
He also noted that the Kansas County and District Attorneys Assn., a bi-partisan group of 93 prosecutors from across the state, voted unanimously to file a brief in support of his actions and legal position.
Originally published at: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2005/mar/16/planned_parenthood_leader/