Are Kansas Officials Enabling Operation Rescue Terror Campaigns?


After posting health record information about girls and women who had abortions at a Kansas City clinic, Operation Rescue activists have succeeded in pressuring the state attorney general to use those records to investigate the clinics.

That’s right. The state of Kansas is coordinating investigation efforts into women’s health and family planning clinics based on medical records the group should not possess in the first place but is so far not seriously investigating how an organization linked to clinic bombings and the murder of abortion doctors came to possess the records to begin with.

Operation Rescue is coordinating a pretty familiar terror campaign here. On one front are accusations, based on these records, that the clinic broke laws by not reporting child sexual abuse. Attorneys for the clinics immediately responded that the allegations were a lie. While a second front is the ever-lingering threat that extremists in their own words “know too much” about these women.

As the Sacramento Bee reports activists with the group are positively crowing about the developments. Cheryl Sullenger, Operation Rescue’s senior policy adviser, said that a confidential informant provided the papers and that no laws were broken in their acquisition. “It’s no secret we seek information about abortion clinics,” Sullenger said. Sullenger wouldn’t explain how the group got the records, essentially offering up “trust us” as evidence no laws have been broken.

But If Operation Rescue does have any documents from Central Family Medicine, they were stolen, said the clinic’s attorney, Cheryl Pilate. “This is about trespass and theft,” Pilate said. “This has nothing to do with the sanctity of records or with protecting women. They are trying to frighten women away from having an abortion.”

Pilate said the clinic reported to police and the FBI on Monday about an apparent break-in at its trash bin. The bin is kept locked and papers dumped in it are shredded, she said. Pilate said the Operation Rescue allegations are part of a national strategy by anti-abortion groups to obtain and further their cause with the abuse of clinic papers.

“This was a locked Dumpster on private property,” Pilate said. “They (Operation Rescue) have in their possession stolen property.”

The Kansas Attorney General’s office has its own troubling history keeping a clean and accurate chain of custody when it comes to these kinds of records, and the Brownback administration has made it extremely clear that it views Operation Rescue as an ally. So the fact that it is relying on stolen documents to further an administrative review designed to harass abortion providers, while not shocking, does amount to the kind of failure in local law enforcement only federal oversight can remedy.

That means these girls and women have no hope their privacy and security will be taken seriously by the state of Kansas. The Department of Justice needs to step in and make sure these victims see the justice they deserve. Sign our petition and demand the Department of Justice investigate into just how Operation Rescue came in possession of these documents and what they intend to do with the information.

Related Stories:

Operation Rescue Posts Abortion Patient Information Online

Kansas Admits It Destroyed Documents In Case Against Planned Parenthood

Photo from netwon_grafitti via flickr.


Cheryl M.
Cheryl McGregor5 years ago

So, is Kansas a weird other worldly anagram for Iran? The same right wingnuts screaming about Sharia Law are forcing their version of Sharia Law down the throats of the women of Kansas. What next? Those same "pro-lifers" stoning people? Burning them at the Stake?

Pogle S.
Pogle S5 years ago

Operation Rescue are a terrorist organisation and all of its members must be hunted down and punished!

Carrie H.
Carrie H5 years ago

We need laws that make it a felony to be for unauthorized persons to be in positioning of other person medical and mental health records, regardless ho how they got them. To do this it may be best to start steeling politicians and their family’s medical records and publishing them

Mark Sebree
Mark Sebree5 years ago

@ Sharon,

How are the workers at Planned Parenthood supposed to know just by looking at a young girl with her parent(s) that any law was broken? If you look closely at statutory rape laws, you will notice that for underage children, there is an exception where both participants are close in age to each other, i.e. about the same age.

My mother was a guidance counselor in a middle school in the suburbs/farm country before she retired. She had many stories of girls at her school getting pregnant from their boyfriends who were the same age as they were. It happens. There are a small percentage of cases where the girl starts becoming sexually active as young as 12 and 13.

Unless the workers at Planned Parenthood are told how old the father is, they have no way of knowing that information, and no valid reason to call the police, unless there is some law that states that ALL underage pregnancies need to be reported. And keep in mind that if both are underage and the sex was consensual, then both could be charge with statutory rape.

Mari Garcia
Mari Garcia5 years ago

sandy e, you should be the poster child for why education funding should NOT be cut, seriously.

Mari Garcia
Mari Garcia5 years ago

seriously, wtf? the FBI needs to step in since federal laws were violated and the state is not doing their job to seek justice

Amanda M.
Amanda M5 years ago

Operation Rescue and their anti-choice ilk are nothing more than DOMESTIC TERRORISTS. It's bad enough that these groups are allowed to roam free, but to allow them to violet HIPPA laws and get away with it like this is nothing short of barbaric and inhumane. These cretins need to be stopped before they use this information to stalk and harass clinic patients even more than they have been already! This is EVIL!

Laurie A.
Laurie A5 years ago

Time for our government to shut down Operation Rescue, which should be called Search and Destroy. They really are terrorists, and need to be treated as such.

Sandy Erickson
Sandy Erickson5 years ago

Sounds like the 'Obama uniter' is bring out the 'Nazi' is some of us.

Charles P.
Charles P5 years ago

What happened to the Hippa law?