Anti-abortion groups are urging Congress to suspend Planned Parenthood’s federal funding. In a letter to all members of Congress, the groups call for suspension of the funds until the legal action against Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri is resolved. Prospects for this are dim in the Democratically-controlled Congress.
The charges against the Kansas and Mid-Missouri Planned Parenthood were filed by Johnson County district attorney Phill Kline, the former Kansas Attorney General and extreme anti-abortion rights foe. On October 17th he filed 23 felony counts of providing false information and 84 misdemeanor counts of failure to maintain records, failure to determine viability for a late-term abortion, and unlawful late-term abortion. A conviction on all counts would cost the clinic more than $2.5 million in potential fines.
Peter Brownlie, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, told The Associated Press that his clinic does not violate state or federal laws, since it does not perform abortions past 22 weeks of pregnancy. Kansas Attorney General Paul Morrison remains skeptical of the case’s merits and Kline’s motives: Said his spokeswoman to The New York Times, “We continue to wonder how much politics influenced Mr. Kline’s decision to file these charges.”