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Vengeance on the prairie

"Vengeance on the prairie" Continued...

Issue: "After Osama," May 21, 2011

Other twists and turns have occurred all along the way. Attorney General Morrison in 2007 had filed his own charges against Tiller: 19 counts that he had an "improper" financial relationship with the second doctor who signed off on his late-term abortions, Dr. Ann Neuhaus. But before Tiller came to trial, Morrison himself resigned as AG in 2008, following a sex scandal.

A Sebelius-appointed successor, Stephen Six, made a sham prosecution of Tiller in March 2009. The state stipulated that all of Tiller's abortions were medically necessary and called one witness: Neuhaus, who was hostile to the prosecution. Tiller gained acquittal.

Two months later Scott Roeder murdered the abortionist. "I was physically ill when I heard that Dr. Tiller was dead," Kline said. "I knew it would cover up the truth in Kansas a lot longer."

More judicial meanderings are likely on July 14 and 15, when a hearing on the charges Kline filed in 2007 will finally come. A Planned Parenthood statement to WORLD said the criminal charges are "completely unwarranted and the outcome of a politically- and ideologically-motivated investigation."

While some Kansas pro-lifers believe District Attorney Howe is not determined to pursue the charges, Howe told me that he wouldn't comment on that or other specifics of the case, but pledged that the July proceedings "will be open to the public."

Four days after the Planned Parenthood hearing will come the second half of Kline's new ethics hearing. A three-member panel of the state Board for Discipline of Attorneys conducted the first half in February. Disciplinary administrator Stanton Hazlitt raised several complaints, such as mishandling evidence and the O'Reilly appearance, even though Judge King had laid those to rest in 2008.

Other allegations were also replays of an inquiry conducted in 2008, when investigators Lucky DeFries and Mary Beth Mudrick looked into allegations from abortionists' lawyers that Kline had lied about desiring names of abortion clients and having probable cause for his charges, and had talked too much to the press.

DeFries and Mudrick at that time found that Kline had set up the plan with Judge Anderson to redact out client names. They noted that Anderson had found probable cause to pursue the investigation. (Two other judges later agreed.)

The investigators also found that Kline's comments to the press were well within bounds in a heated political debate, and that there was "not probable cause to find that Phill Kline violated any of the rules of ethics."

Kline will present his defense at the conclusion of his hearing in July. He is not entirely alone. "It's an abuse of the ethics regime for blatantly political purposes," said Thomas Brejcha, chief counsel of the pro-life Thomas More Society. That the Kansas Supreme Court would repeatedly delay a prosecution where probable cause was established and instead go after a prosecutor three times is "just incredible," he said.

Kansas state representative Steve Brunk, a Republican, asked, "Why are we dragging Phill Kline back here after all these years for these ethics charges?. . . Ironically, the more the abortion industry and its defenders attempt to persecute Phill Kline for upholding the law, the more evidence comes to light about their own misconduct."

At the trough

This year's budget debate featured calls from congressional pro-lifers like Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., to defund Planned Parenthood. "They are indeed 'Child Abuse Incorporated,' and we've got to defund them," he said.

That didn't happen in the budget deal passed in early April; the abortion giant is among the Democrats' strongest allies. Defunding Planned Parenthood is "too extreme," said Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. "I don't see it happening."

But if Planned Parenthood were ever convicted of a criminal offense, the federal government's own rules suggest defunding.

Planned Parenthood collects about $360 million per year from all levels of government, with 80 percent of that coming from the federal government. Federal Acquisitions Regulations require all "contractors" with the federal government to "exercise due diligence to prevent and detect criminal conduct."

Contractors are also supposed to "promote an organizational culture that encourages ethical conduct and a commitment to compliance with the law." Undercover investigations by organizations such as Live Action show Planned Parenthood representatives flouting state reporting laws.

Jim Sedlak, vice president of the American Life League, said about $75 million comes to Planned Parenthood from grants under Title X of the Public Health Service Act, designed to provide "comprehensive family planning and related preventive health services."

A March memo from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, headed by ex-Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, reminded grantees that "Title X providers are also required to comply with specific State reporting and notification laws." Failure to comply with state laws covering the reporting of child sexual abuse or violence "may result in the disallowance of Title X funds, or the suspension or termination of the Title X grant award."

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