Planned Parenthood of Kansas Mid-Missouri is one step closer to trial, and they can no longer rely on patient privacy stalling tactics, or an abortion-protecting AG, to buy them more time. A four-day pre-trial hearing is set for Oct. 24 to tackle 23 criminal charges that PP falsified patient records.
In court Friday, Judge Tatum failed to grant special arrangements (for factually insupportable threats to patient privacy) that Planned Parenthood had petitioned for in April (see here), as the prosecutors assured the court that all records are “under lock and key”.
Current Johnson County District Attorney, Steve Howe, and assistant Chris McMullin– both seasoned prosecutors–rejected Planned Parenthood’s demands as unreasonable and quite insulting:
“The Office of District Attorney for the Tenth Judicial District has vast experience in presenting evidence of a sensitive nature in open Court…For instance, this office routinely prosecutes sexual assault cases. Victim records, including colposcope photographs of genitals, are presented in court, in a discrete manner. Pornography depicting minors is routinely presented in court. Are these items any less deserving of privacy and respect? The litigants have clear direction from this State’s highest Court regarding the handling of the patient records, and these directions will be followed. There is no need for expensive, complicated additional procedures to correct a problem that does not exist.”
The prosecutor’s written, filed response (here) also berated Planned Parenthood for trying to “insinuate itself into the process of a lawful subpoena of government records” and for incorrectly “lumping together” patient medical records with limited-information statistical reports as if both need the same types of protective handling.
This intentional mischief of mischaracterizing types of evidence, and the personal information contained (and not contained) within, has served Planned Parenthood well in confusing the media, and the public, in these criminal proceedings, as well as in the 2007/2008 citizen-petitioned grand jury against Planned Parenthood.
The message was enhanced when access to those “termination of pregnancy” statistical reports of the state health department was denied under Gov. Sebelius and AG Steve Six. However, access to those reports has FINALLY been remedied under AG Derek Schmidt, who deputized McMullin as a special assistant attorney general.
This is the happy result when Steve Six lost the election and the AG’s office can return to the proper role in prosecuting, not protecting, alleged criminals.
POLITICS STALLED PROSECUTION
Criminal charges against Planned Parenthood originated when Phill Kline was AG (2002-2006), but were stalled by abortion industry interventions —entertained by the state Supreme Court –that abortion patient privacy deserved unique considerations.
Kline’s successor, Paul Morrison, had issued a letter in June 2007 dropping all criminal charges against Planned Parenthood. Non-stop efforts by both the AG’s office and abortionists continued to obstruct further prosecution, including legal actions to remove the evidence from Kline and Judge Richard Anderson.
Despite the legal barrage, in October of 2007, Kline–as Johnson County District attorney– was able to file misdemeanor charges against PP and additional felony charges for falsifying documents that were found missing from patient files.
AG Six had Judge Anderson gagged from testifying about those allegedly falsified documents, again on misrepresentations of threats to patient privacy. In October 2010, Anderson was released to testify. (See more details from Kline’s perspective here.)