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Archive for Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Abortion provider seeks end to Kansas criminal case

April 10, 2012

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— Defense attorneys are asking a Kansas judge to dismiss the remaining criminal charges against a Planned Parenthood clinic accused of performing illegal abortions, saying the allegations stem merely from differing medical opinions about how such procedures should be handled.

The lawyers representing the suburban Kansas City clinic also argued in previously sealed court documents that nearly half of the 58 remaining criminal charges were filed after a deadline set by Kansas law. The Associated Press obtained copies of the documents Tuesday from the district court in Johnson County after Judge Stephen Tatum unsealed them.

Tatum, the district judge handling the case, dismissed 49 other charges in November at the request of Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe, including felony counts accusing the clinic in Overland Park of falsifying records. All 107 charges were filed in October 2007 by Howe's predecessor, Phill Kline, a fellow Republican who opposes abortion. Advocates on both sides of the abortion debate believe it was the nation's first criminal case against a Planned Parenthood clinic.

The judge, who has yet to decide whether the case will go to trial, has set a July 11 scheduling hearing. Planned Parenthood attorneys filed multiple requests under seal March 29 to have the remaining charges dismissed, and Tatum allowed them to become public Monday.

"We think we have very powerful legal arguments," Topeka attorney Pedro Irigonegaray, who's representing Planned Parenthood, said Tuesday. "There's plenty to show that there was never anything to it."

Howe declined comment, saying he didn't want to violate past instructions from Tatum and the Kansas Supreme Court for attorneys in the case to limit their comments outside courtrooms.

Kline, now a visiting assistant law professor at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., wasn't surprised by Planned Parenthood's attempt to dismiss the remaining charges.

"It's to be expected," he said.

The Planned Parenthood clinic is accused of violating a Kansas law that in 2003 restricted abortions at or after the 22nd week of pregnancy if a doctor determined the fetus was viable, or could survive outside the womb. For each of the 29 abortions, the clinic still faces one misdemeanor charge of not properly examining whether the fetus was viable and one misdemeanor count of performing an illegal late-term abortion.

Defense attorneys argued in their court filings that 26 charges covering 13 abortions before July 2003 were filed beyond a two-year deadline for pursuing charges that was in effect at the time. Legislators changed the deadline, giving prosecutors five years to file charges, but the change didn't take effect until July 2003.

In July 2005, Kline was Kansas attorney general and was locked in a legal dispute with Planned Parenthood and another abortion provider over access to key information in patients' medical records as he investigated providers. Kline didn't gain access until October 2006, just before losing re-election as attorney general. He became Johnson County's district attorney in January 2007 and continued investigating Planned Parenthood.

Attorneys for Planned Parenthood also are trying to block the testimony of a family practice physician and a doctor who provides care for patients with high-risk pregnancies. The two are questioning the methods used to determine that each fetus wasn't viable.

The defense attorneys said Tatum should not allow the testimony because neither performs abortions. The attorneys added that a potential defense witness — a medical school professor who edited a textbook on abortion and serves as chief medical officer for Planned Parenthood's New York City chapter — concluded that the Kansas clinic followed standard medical practices at the time.

In the past, the Kansas Supreme Court has declared that a criminal case against an abortion provider cannot boil down reasonable differences of medical opinion.

"This was simply an attack on women's reproductive health care issues, not based on facts but on political motivations," Irigonegaray said.

Planned Parenthood also argued that it's unfair and unconstitutional under past U.S. Supreme Court decisions to punish providers for making good-faith judgments about a patient's care because others disagree about their decisions.

Comments

Corb12 2 years ago

Did I catch this right? "...not based on facts but on political motivations,". Same old Government I know! Realizing that these arguments have to be separated from ones religious views also has to be taken into consideration. Hello! Phil Kline, are you there? I'm sure you would be willing to let us see your files!

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ShePrecedes 2 years ago

Why is hades is abortion such a huge issue with the GOP?

Why are they not taking on truly conservative causes like the economy? Why aren't they hard-handedly pushing for less taxes, city, state and country instead of this senseless, strongly intrusive interest in the privacy of citizens' bedrooms?

Why were they not against the invasion, occupation and succeeding murders of around 200,000 people if LIFE is what they are most interested in?

You cannot pick and choose which LIFE is more valuable than another. It is simply thoughtless and unenlightened to do so.

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Cait McKnelly 2 years ago

Not to repeat myself, but, what about the copies of records that Phill Klown is still carrying around in Sterlite boxes? I'm sure it would break his heart to give up his abortion porn but he has to do it some day.

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Ray Parker 2 years ago

Kenneth Lamb, 28, of Wilder, ID, a confessed child molester, will spend at least 15 years behind bars for raping and impregnating a 12-year old girl, forcing her to commit an abortion, and for conspiring to escape from prison. Abortion mills like Planned Parenthood do practically nothing to notify law enforcement of underage rape victims forced into abortions, thus allowing the continuation of rapes, abuses, and exploitations of underage rape victims. Most abortions involve some type of illegal coercion, and most teenage girls in abortion mills have been impregnated by much older adult men. Planned Parenthood abortion mills are proven frequent violators of informed consent. Profits are profits in Planned Parenthood abortion mills, and child molesters are paying customers.

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Ray Parker 2 years ago

Asians in Californicatia are significantly lowering the ratio of girls to boys born in the state, through their gender selection abortions.

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Ray Parker 2 years ago

The Alabama health department was obliged to order closed the New Woman All Women abortion mill in Birmingham, owned and operated by Diane Derzis (the abortion queen of Alabama), after 3 botched abortion victims required hospital care. A complaint by a pro-lifer finally prompted a health inspection, resulting in a scathing 76-page deficiency report written by the Alabama Department of Public Health that details dangerous and deceptive practices that continue to endanger the health and safety of women, another in a long series of deficiency reports since 2003. The 3 botched abortion victims of January 21 hauled out of the abortion mill down back steps with a broken handrail and through a trash-strewn alley to an ambulance were, among other abuses, suffering overdoses of the drug Vasopressin. A complaint was also files against abortionist quack Bruce Elliot Norman, who committed the botched abortions of January 21.

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Ray Parker 2 years ago

A Planned Parenthood abortion mill in Californicatia is copying the pro-life 40 Days for Life campaign, and promoting a Humbolt County Clergy for Choice event, getting local apostate clergy to offer thanks to the Almighty for legalized infanticide, and to offer promotions in the name of our Maker for the mangling, dismembering, poisoning, and beheading of babies.

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