© Jack Cashill
July 24, 2008
Published in WND.com
After nearly six months of dithering on the charges against Dr. George Tiller, Attorney General Paul Morrison re-interpreted the state’s tough late term abortion law to mean that it did not matter whether a woman had a legally justifiable need for an abortion as long as two unaffiliated doctors said she did.
This finessing of the law allowed Morrison to showily dismiss all of the charges Kline had brought against Tiller and ridicule Kline for bringing them.
In his new role as Johnson County district attorney, Phill Kline had turned his attention to Planned Parenthood’s abortion clinic, Comprehensive Health, located in his jurisdiction.
Planned Parenthood’s patient files were proving problematic as well. Very few of them contained a “determination of viability.” This was critical and troubling.
Viable babies beyond 22 weeks cannot be aborted in Kansas without documentation of severe risk to the mother. In the 26 patient files that were reviewed there was no record of non-viability or maternal risk despite the fact that the unborn babies had passed the 22-week mark.
In a letter to the court, the attorneys for Planned Parenthood replied that its viability reports were kept in a “separate secure file.”
District Court Judge Richard Anderson promptly authorized a subpoena for those reports, and Planned Parenthood complied, or at least seemed to.
When Kline began to review the KDHE reports, he immediately spotted a problem and alerted Judge Anderson to the same: the reports submitted by Planned Parenthood that were supposed to be copies of the KDHE originals did not match the originals.
Troubled by what he saw, Anderson wanted an unbiased opinion. So he quietly shared the reports with a document expert from the Topeka Police Department.
As Anderson later testified in open court, the expert concurred with his suspicions that the reports “didn’t match up,” that they, in fact, appeared to have been counterfeited.
“It was visually obvious that some documents had been manufactured,” Kline would relate to the Supreme Court. Anderson would tell the same court, “Somebody may have committed a felony in an attempt to cover up a misdemeanor.”
While Kline was investigating, Planned Parenthood held a gala fundraiser in Kansas City in May 2007 to celebrate Governor Kathleen Sebelius’s birthday.
By the end of the evening, according to the local Planned Parenthood newsletter, “Hundreds of PPKM supporters were dancing in a conga line around the concert hall.” Leading the “dancing pack” was Peter Brownlie, the local CEO whose abortion clinic was at the center of this deadly serious criminal investigation.
In October 2007, Kline presented his evidence to District Court Judge James Vano, who found “probable cause” of crimes having been committed and allowed the case to proceed.
On October 17, Kline promptly filed 107 counts, 23 of them felonies, against Planned Parenthood’s abortion clinic, Comprehensive Health.
The abortion industry and it shills cried foul. Ashley Anstaett, Morrison’s spokeswoman, told The Associated Press that Attorney General Morrison had already reviewed Kline’s accusations and found no wrongdoing.
Judge Anderson was proving no easier to intimidate than Kline. That same month, October 2007, he responded to Morrison’s petition that he return the original medical records both to Tiller’s clinic and Planned Parenthood respectively.
Returning this evidence, Anderson told the Supreme Court, “would unacceptably increase the risk that the evidence could be lost, destroyed or compromised while active investigations and prosecutions are on-going.”
“It is difficult to understand,” Anderson added emphatically, “how this would benefit the citizens of the state of Kansas.”
Despite the resistance from Kline and Anderson, and the growing restlessness of the legislature, Paul Morrison had every reason to feel confident in the fall of 2007.
He had so charmed the media that he could not have been faulted for imagining himself the next governor of Kansas.
Alas, The Topeka Capital-Journal soon revealed that Morrison had been carrying on a two-year affair with a subordinate, who was now claiming sexual harassment.
That was just the half of it. The woman had remained in the employ of the Johnson County District Attorney’s office after Kline had taken over Morrison’s job. She claimed that Morrison had used the affair to coerce her into securing sensitive information about Kline’s investigation into Planned Parenthood.
Governor Sebelius quickly forced Morrison out of office lest the public got a chance to rethink its well-stoked antipathy to Kline.
The following month, January 2008, the moderate establishment took another blow. Judge Anderson testified in an open Johnson County courtroom that Kline did, in fact, have probable cause to believe that Planned Parenthood had fabricated its records.
The abortion industry was looking at its most severe political and legal crisis since Roe v. Wade.
Tomorrow, part V: DA Kline Defies Media to Run for Full Term
Previous Columns in this series:
- Part I: Kansas Bleeds Once More
- Part II: The Abortion Battle Heats Up
- Part III: Kline Refuses to Roll Over