The Planned Parenthood abortion clinic of Overland Park, KS, is currently on trial for 107 counts of falsifying abortion records and committing illegal late-term abortions, 23 of which are felonies.
The charges were brought by former Attorney General Phill Kline in October 2007 following an investigation he launched in 2003.
Today came the bombshell news that the administration of former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, now the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, destroyed critical evidence in 2005. The evidence was needed to compare records Kline acquired with records Planned Parenthood later submitted.
From the Kansas City Star:
Key evidence needed to prosecute Planned Parenthood for allegedly falsifying abortion documents has been destroyed by the state, court records show.
Prosecutors have asked a judge to delay a Monday hearing to determine whether there’s enough evidence to try the abortion provider on 23 felony counts of falsifying termination of pregnancy reports.
Prosecutors say the records kept by the state needed to make their case were destroyed in 2005, some two years before criminal charges were brought against Planned Parenthood.
Court records say that Kansas health officials shredded the documents as part of a “routine document destruction.”
It’s impossible to know precisely when it occurred although it is believed to have been done in 2005, when the health department was part of the administration of former Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, an abortion rights supporter….
Abortion opponents were so incredulous about the revelation that they hard to time finding words to describe their reaction.
“Unbelievable,” said Mary Kay Cup [sic], executive director of Kansans for Life. “We don’t believe for one second this was anything but purposefully done to protect the abortion industry.”
The destroyed records were critical in establishing the authenticity of records from 2003 obtained by Kline when he investigated the agency as attorney general. Planned Parenthood later provided copies of the documents that the state contended did not match those Kline had.
Later, as Johnson County district attorney in 2007, Kline filed the 107-count complaint against the agency.
Kline argued at the time that the group had performed illegal late-term abortions and falsified or forged documents to make it appear they were legal.
Prosecutors contended that Planned Parenthood had not kept the documents five years as required by law and falsified copies to cover it up.
Kline subpoenaed the documents in question in the fall of 2004. So their destruction the following year doesn’t look on the up and up, to say the least.
It now becomes more clear why the Kansas Department of Health and Environment strangely but strongly resisted turning over those documents to Kline and also refused to certify the documents Kline had.
Furthermore, Kline’s decision not to inform the Sebelius administration about his investigation appears vindicated. His rationale was that it was Sebelius cronies he was investigating.
That decision was one of the reasons a Sebelius-empowered panel suspended Kline last week.