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One for the books

"One for the books" Continued...

Issue: "Elephant in the room," Nov. 3, 2007

Still, Morrison's office is protesting the complaint. "We are skeptical that these charges have any merit, and we continue to wonder how much politics influenced Mr. Kline's decision to file these charges," Morrison's spokesperson Ashley Anstaett told reporters.

The same three legislators who questioned Morrison's exoneration of PPKM also took him to task on that comment. "As the chief law enforcement officer for the state of Kansas, you have a duty to show respect for the criminal justice system," the legislators wrote in their Oct. 22 letter. "To that end, we respectfully request that you and your staff . . . refrain from criticizing members of the judiciary who have reviewed the evidence and have found probable cause and from making any further negative comments about the merits and/or credibility of this criminal matter pending before the court."

Morrison spokesperson Anstaett responded to WORLD's phone calls seeking comment on the letter by reiterating the earlier statement.

Flusche said Kline's complaint could yield landmark results: "If Planned Parenthood is found guilty, I wouldn't be surprised to see the case open the door to other, similar investigations" in which prosecutors suspect misconduct and attempt to prove it using patient records.

But that will be a tough fight. Though the records Kline received contained no identifying patient information, Flusche said, he expects PPKM to stake its arguments on medical privacy, emphasizing precedents that could be established in the case. "Planned Parenthood is very good at arguing for confidentiality," Flusche said. "They thrive on secrets, on telling girls they can come and nobody will know."

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