Friday, February 25, 2005

What's the matter with Kansas? The Attorney General, that's what!

Attorney General Phill Kline, a Republican who has made fighting abortion a staple of his two years in the post, is demanding the complete medical files of scores of women and girls who had late-term abortions, saying on Thursday that he needs the information to prosecute criminal cases. Advocates on both sides of the abortion issue said the broad investigation, backed by a judge's subpoena [NYT, how about providing a name here? Who is this scandalous judge?], is the first of its kind in pursuit of criminal charges, although the federal Justice Department has unsuccessfully sought similar records in its defense of a ban on a procedure sometimes used to end pregnancies after the first trimester that doctors call intact dilation and extraction and that critics call partial-birth abortion.

Kansas is one of 31 states that have passed laws to ban or restrict the procedure. But Kansas does not ban it outright, allowing such abortions if women's health is endangered. Mr. Kline's efforts to obtain records from abortion clinics follows his failed attempt last year to require the state's health workers to report any sexual activity of girls younger than 16, the age of legal consent in Kansas.

Health-care providers sued, and a federal judge granted a temporary restraining order. Mr. Kline's new investigation could yield similar records. His effort became public this week when two clinics whose records are being subpoenaed filed a brief in State Supreme Court to block what they called a "secret inquisition" and "fishing expedition" that threatened the doctor-patient privilege and women's constitutional rights.

Noting that personal details like marital status, race, employment history and emergency contacts are in the records, lawyers for the clinics asked, "How can a woman's method of birth control or prior history of abortions or use of drugs and medications be relevant?"


At 2/25/2005 2:39 PM , Blogger halcyon67 said...

Who are these people, the Kansas Gestapo?

This is almost just as worst as the Virginia law making women who have miscarriages criminals if they do not report their miscarriages with in the first 48 hours. If the women fail to do so, they can be charged for murder. And, no I am not joking.

At 2/26/2005 10:42 AM , Blogger chrisbilal said...

Two clicks back to Kansas!


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