NRL News

Problematic District Attorney conclusion about Kansas document shredding cries out for more information

by | Feb 21, 2012

By Kathy Ostrowski, Kansans for Life Legislative Director

Abortion news stories are often subjected to a Friday afternoon “news dump”—a practice intended to hide a story’s significance—but even by that standard the latest revelations about a Kansas investigation into document shredding was a doozie.

On February 17, Chad Taylor, the Democrat District Attorney for the jurisdiction of the capital city of Kansas, issued a press release saying he’d not be filing any criminal charges concerning abortion report copies needed for felony prosecution of Planned Parenthood. 

Because Taylor’s declaration of “no harm, no foul” was so full of errors (including essential dates and the job of a key informant), its summary disposition of the matter settled nothing other than that Taylor is not even in the right ball park.

However, be that as it may, Taylor’s statement signaled the conclusion of a sheriff’s investigation begun in November after it was asserted that copies of state reports from Planned Parenthood that should have been in the Attorney General’s office had been destroyed. These copies were compliance reports of late-term abortions, that were subpoenaed under a criminal inquisition by former AG Phill Kline, and not easily obtained under the administration of former governrnor Kathleen Sebelius(2003-2009). Observers were nevertheless shocked at the state health statistics agency’s revelation that its relevant set of reports from Planned Parenthood had been shredded in 2005.

But what exactly was dug up in the investigation that was supposed to reveal what happened to those official report copies that were assumed safe and secured in the Attorney General’s office? Nothing! Taylor only declared that certain documents from the now-closed clinic of the late abortionist George Tiller had been shredded in April 2009.

No word about the documents that had been needed for the now-dismissed Planned Parenthood felony prosecution. This is pretty convenient scandal erasure for the governor at the time– Kathleen Sebelius, now Obama’s Secretary of Health and Human Services– and her appointee, former Attorney General Steve Six.

Even more confusing is new information reported by John Hanna of the Associated Press*– that the Planned Parenthood lawyer now asserts the “missing” documents still exist and he reviewed them in the fall of 2011, along with the prosecutor’s office! 

While the AP is requesting a full copy of the sheriff’s report, Kansans for Life is asking the Planned Parenthood prosecutor, the Kansas Attorney General and Taylor, to clear up this mess. This is vital for many serious reasons, including how it affects the integrity of the as-yet-incomplete prosecution of Planned Parenthood for misdemeanors back in 2003.


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Categories: PPFA