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Kansas Planned Parenthood Cleared of Charges

A Kansas Planned Parenthood clinic was cleared of any wrongdoing on Monday when the grand jury refused to issue an indictment. The grand jury had subpoenaed the medical records of 16 women from the Planned Parenthood clinic, but all the records were given to District Judge Kevin Moriarty instead of the jurors. The jurors reviewed a spreadsheet of the information on the records that was approved by the judge to protect patients’ confidentiality, reports the Kansas City Star.

The grand jury was convened three months ago as a result of a citizen’s petition circulated by anti-abortion extremists. Kansas is one of only 6 states in which citizens can convene a grand jury through a petition. According to the Associated Press, the groups claimed that the Kansas Planned Parenthood clinic violated parental consent and notification laws and that Planned Parenthood was trafficking in fetal tissue.

Anti-abortion extremist groups like Operation Rescue claim that the investigation was tainted. Peter Brownlie, president of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri (PPKM) told the Associated Press, “Any time a decision is different from the one they want, they will claim it’s because of some nefarious doings. The only people who continue to insist that there’s criminal wrongdoing are people who have a political agenda.”

A similar citizen’s grand jury is also investigating Dr. George Tiller, a late-term abortion provider for women with troubled pregnancies and complicated health problems, as a result of anti-abortion extremist groups’ petitions.

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Sources:

Kansas City Star 03/03/08; Associated Press 03/03/08, 03/04/08; Feminist Newswire 02/25/08