Phill Kline, the former Kansas attorney general and extreme abortion-rights foe, has used his new position as Johnson County district attorney to levy more than 100 charges against Comprehensive Health of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri. The Overland Park clinic, located in Johnson County, is accused of 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.
Kline, who was ousted by voters from state office in 2006, had previously sought to subpoena patient records from the Planned Parenthood clinic, as well as from Women’s Health Care Services and Dr. George Tiller in Wichita. Kline supposedly sought the records to prosecute possible violations of underage sex, but later admitted he was looking for violations of late-term abortion statutes. After a two-year legal struggle, he received redacted records, stripped of patients’ names and identifying information. This past June, Kline’s successor as attorney general, Paul Morrison, closed the investigation and asked that the medical records be returned to the clinic.
Peter Brownlie, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, told The Associated Press that his clinic does not perform abortions past 22 weeks of pregnancy, thus staying within state and federal laws. Even Morrison’s office is skeptical of the case’s merits and Kline’s motives: Said his spokeswoman Ashley Anstaett to The New York Times, “We continue to wonder how much politics influenced Mr. Kline’s decision to file these charges.”