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Kansas Drops Charges Against Planned Parenthood

Kansas Drops Charges Against Planned Parenthood

On Friday a Johnson County, Kansas district attorney announced the state had dropped all 107 charges against Planned Parenthood, bringing an end to one of the most transparently political prosecutions of the health care provider in the state.

The criminal complaint had been brought by then-Attorney General Phil Kline. Kline’s complaint accused the provider of performing unlawful late term abortions without determining whether or not the fetus was viable. Kline also accused Planned Parenthood of falsifying abortion reports and patient privacy violations.

A majority of the charges had already been dismissed due to a lack of evidence. It was later discovered the state destroyed some of the evidence it collected that exonerated the provider in addition to failing to turn over evidence as well. District Attorney Steve Howe and Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said they made the decision to drop the remaining 32 misdemeanor counts on Friday because “none of the doctors who reviewed the evidence have disagreed with CHPP’s finding of gestational age.”

“The United States Supreme Court has said that reasonable medical debate should not subject individuals to criminal prosecution,” Howe said in a press release.

Kline, who faces disbarment due to his ethical lapses connected with the investigation and prosecution had this to say in a statement. “The law allows a prosecutor the discretion to abandon prosecutions against powerful defendants - even when judges have found probable cause for the case to move to trial. This fact, however, does not make this decision correct but only demonstrates the District Attorney acted out of political fear rather than a sound understanding of the law, the facts or the case.”

“Despite this protracted whitewash, the fact remains that Planned Parenthood is now on the defensive around the nation due to their failure to report child sexual molestation, alleged financial fraud and failure to comply with reasonable abortion restrictions - and these facts were first investigated and revealed in Kansas” Kline said.

It would be nice if Schmidt’s decision to end the prosecution of Planned Parenthood reflected a more reasonable Kansas anti-choice position, but it doesn’t. Once Kline was disciplined Schmidt really had no other choice. The entire case was a sham. Hopefully the radical right learned that even in Kansas there are some limits to how much persecuting health care providers will be tolerated.

Related Stories:

Kansas Admits It Destroyed Documents In Case Against Planned Parenthood

Kansas Fighting Disclosure Of Who Helped Write Abortion Restrictions

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Photo from WeNews via flickr.

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91 comments

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2:23AM PDT on Mar 31, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

8:52AM PST on Feb 18, 2013

We shouldn't have to fight for our rights all over again. It's a shame the we still have these kind of politicians!

11:25AM PST on Feb 16, 2013

Thanks for the article.

5:57PM PDT on Aug 23, 2012

Unbelievable.

More DEFLECTION -- now rightwing dogma is to be hidden behind the label 'humanity'.

More telling others what they should do based on "opinion".

You are welcome to your deflection and opinion; you are welcome to voice it to me and to others; you are welcome to act on it in your own personal life. But do NOT try to put your deflection and opinion about abortion into LAW as a means to enslave the rest of us to your dogma, as the GOP platform says it will do if it gains power.

Unbelievable, indeed, that the regressive antics of one political party in modern day America leaves fully half the population aghast that some of its fellow modern humans can be so utterly stupid.

5:25PM PDT on Aug 23, 2012

Medical studies and reviews (WIKI) DATA FROM UCSF...NOT an anti-choice source, by the way!

The hypothesis that human fetuses are capable of perceiving pain in the early stages of a pregnancy has not received sufficient evidence to be proven or disproven; the developmental stage of research and instrumentation is so far insufficient to this task. The issue is considerably complicated by the usual difficulties in perceptual research of unresponsive subjects: "Though techniques such as positron electron tomography scanning might reveal those parts of the brain that respond to a painful stimulus, this does not tell us what the individual is experiencing."[1]

The accepted hypothesis of the means by which pain is perceived states that it requires certain physical structures and operations. These are not formed in fetuses until 30 weeks or more. The consensus of the scientific community at this time is that only fetuses of this age or older are capable of perceiving pain.

Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded in a meta-analysis of data from dozens of medical reports and studies that fetuses are unlikely to feel pain until the third trimester of pregnancy.[2][3] There is an emerging consensus among developmental neurobiologists that the establishment of thalamocortical connections (at about 26 weeks) is a critical event with regard to fetal perception of pain.[4] Because pain can involve se

3:09PM PDT on Aug 23, 2012

Ken,

I don't know what 'dogma' you keep talking about. I'm talking about humanity.
If we all agree that there is no absolute conclusive evidence that the fetus DOESN"T feel pain at 20 weeks, it behooves us to err on the side of what is humane for the fetus: a being brought into creation through no fault of its own.
Women should make the effort to determine by that period whether their pregnancy is desirable or not. It's the humane thing to do, and it is this humanity that separates us from lower animals.

10:58AM PDT on Aug 23, 2012

Kenneth...I agree with every word you wrote.

9:10AM PDT on Aug 23, 2012

Elizabeth M C. -- Come on girl, you really need to get with it here. You are not on some FoxNews blog, where just any dogma-driven drivel will happily be accepted as a substitute for cogent discussion.

You say: "There is no absolute scientific conclusion as to when the fetus is capable of feeling pain or to what degree, but it is unanimous that it does at some point." EXACTLY!! And since you and yours cannot say just what that "point" is, or even whether THAT should be the indicator of "sentience", there is absolutely NO basis in the proposed abortion bans other than to leverage one group's deeply held dogma over another group's freedoms.

And to get back to the REAL topic of the article, which states that all counts against PP were dropped FOR LACK OF EVIDENCE, you and yours have the VERY SAME PROBLEM when you try to leverage your opinions and beliefs over mine: you have no evidence that a late term abortion is "particularly egregious, inhumane and immoral" for EVERYONE. That is your OPINION. You are welcome to it. BUT, once again, do not try to rule ME with YOUR opinion.

I find you and yours to be hypocritical busy-bodies who would like the government, on your behest, to stick its nose in the personal business of law-abiding Americans. That is my strongly held OPNION -- but note that, unlike you and yours, I am not trying to pass laws to inhibit your freedoms, even as unpatriotic as they are to me.

9:10AM PDT on Aug 23, 2012

Elizabeth M C. -- Come on girl, you really need to get with it here. You are not on some FoxNews blog, where just any dogma-driven drivel will happily be accepted as a substitute for cogent discussion.

You say: "There is no absolute scientific conclusion as to when the fetus is capable of feeling pain or to what degree, but it is unanimous that it does at some point." EXACTLY!! And since you and yours cannot say just what that "point" is, or even whether THAT should be the indicator of "sentience", there is absolutely NO basis in the proposed abortion bans other than to leverage one group's deeply held dogma over another group's freedoms.

And to get back to the REAL topic of the article, which states that all counts against PP were dropped FOR LACK OF EVIDENCE, you and yours have the VERY SAME PROBLEM when you try to leverage your opinions and beliefs over mine: you have no evidence that a late term abortion is "particularly egregious, inhumane and immoral" for EVERYONE. That is your OPINION. You are welcome to it. BUT, once again, do not try to rule ME with YOUR opinion.

I find you and yours to be hypocritical busy-bodies who would like the government, on your behest, to stick its nose in the personal business of law-abiding Americans. That is my strongly held OPNION -- but note that, unlike you and yours, I am not trying to pass laws to inhibit your freedoms, even as unpatriotic as they are to me.

4:15AM PDT on Aug 23, 2012

Pam,
Your comments about the soul are a bad attempt at deflection.
Whether or not there is a soul at all does not negate the argument that a fetus is a sentient being.
There is no absolute scientific conclusion as to when the fetus is capable of feeling pain or to what degree, but it is unanimous that it does at some point.
A baby delivered full term, or prematurely for that matter, does not magically /instantly acquire this ability as it passes through the birth canal.
This fact is why late term and partial birth abortion ( the primary subject of this discussion and article) is particularly egregious, inhumane and immoral.

Ken,
The only hypocrisy here is that you and others like you reserve compassion for a lobster but not a human fetus.

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