Phill Kline Sues Planned Parenthood...Again
If you want a preview of what will happen to your medical records once abortion is banned in the U.S., pay close attention to the demented antics of Kansas' very own Phill "Patient Chart Thief" Kline.
After being ousted as Kansas' Attorney General, but before leaving office to become the Johnson County District Attorney, Phill "Patient Chart Thief" Kline stole the medical records of 90 patients who had post-22-week abortions in 2003 at Comprehensive Health or Women's Health Care Services in Wichita, Kan.:
2004 - Kline subpoenas patient records.
February 2006 - State Supreme Court rules Kline can seek access to the records but not before he presents his reasons for seeking the subpoenas to District Court Judge Richard Anderson.
November 2006 - Judge Anderson turns over patient charts to Kline's office.
November 2006 - Paul Morrison, Johnson County district attorney, defeats Kline and becomes the new Kansas Attorney General.
January 5, 2007 - Kline forwards copies of patient charts to the Johnson County district attorney's office.
January 8, 2007 - Kline leaves the state attorney general's office for the Johnson County district attorney's office where he replaces Morrison as the new district attorney.
June 2007 - After finding no evidence of any criminal wrongdoing by the clinic, Kansas Attorney General Paul Morrison ends the investigation of Comprehensive Health.
June 2007 - Morrison also informs Comprehensive Health that Kline, the Johnson County district attorney, retains copies of the patient charts and he finally tells the clinic about Kline forwarding copies of the charts to the Johnson County district attorney's office on Jan. 5.
June 6, 2007 - The clinic files a petition with the state Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus against Kline.
June 22, 2007 - State Supreme Court tells Kline he has until July 12 to respond.
Unfortunately, no further information is available about this lawsuit. Those involved have not discussed the case and the documents are sealed.
Putting the stolen charts to good use, Phill "Patient Chart Thief" Kline sues Planned Parenthood again, and then some more:
October 2007 - Kline files a 107-count criminal complaint against Planned Parenthood. The complaint consists of 23 felonies and 84 misdemeanors, alleging unlawful late-term abortions and inadequate record keeping at Planned Parenthood's Comprehensive Health clinic in Overland Park.
December 2007 - Kansas Attorney General Morrison acknowledges having an extramarital affair with a former subordinate in the district attorney's office.
According to the AP:
[The woman] also accused him of harassment and trying to get her to provide sensitive information on Kline's activities, including his investigation of Planned Parenthood.
Morrison has denied the allegations of professional misconduct, but he plans to step down as attorney general Jan. 31. Kline has said he will appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Morrison's conduct.
January 16, 2008 - Judge Stephen R. Tatum denies Kline's motion to disqualify two attorneys representing Planned Parenthood.
Phill "Patient Chart Thief" Kline alleged that Planned Parenthood altered patient records before turning them over to Judge Anderson in 2006 as part of Kline's initial criminal investigation. From the AP article:
Kline based his records allegations on testimony that Shawnee County District Judge Richard Anderson gave Wednesday. Anderson is the judge who at Kline's request subpoenaed the records in 2004 after Kline - then Kansas attorney general - began his initial Planned Parenthood investigation.
Anderson testified that records he eventually received from Planned Parenthood in 2006 - after the agency fought the subpoenas - did not match the original records. Anderson said the questionable records were the same ones that current Attorney General Paul Morrison reviewed when he cleared Planned Parenthood of wrongdoing last year.
Based on that, Anderson said he does not believe Morrison should have issued his letter clearing the agency.
However, despite Judge Anderson's testimony and Kline's allegations:
Judge Stephen R. Tatum said after the hearing that Kline did not present evidence that proved the attorneys should be removed from the case.
Tatum said Kline cannot show that the attorneys had anything to do with preparing the records.
Furthermore, not only did Planned Parenthood officials say that Kline's allegations about the records possibly being altered are false, but according to Irigonegaray (one of the attorneys Kline sought to remove):
Kline filed the motion to disqualify the attorneys to draw publicity about the criminal charges. "It was a complete waste of the court's time and everyone else's," PPKM President Peter Brownlie said, adding that Kline "produced absolutely no evidence of anything that would disqualify our attorneys so clearly he had some other reason for it."
Kline said he wanted to present the information now so PPKM could not appeal a verdict on the basis of ineffective counsel. "These documents were manufactured and are false information, and counsel represented them to be something they are not," Kline said.... Irigonegaray disagreed, saying, "We were very disturbed by Mr. Kline's efforts to put on the record information that's not only erroneous, but without any basis in fact"....
Bottom line: It's easy to dismiss Phill "Patient Chart Thief" Kline as the pustulant voyeur that he is and to regard what's going on in Kansas as some peculiar regional drama. What's not so easy is to realize that any one of us might be part of the next batch of 90 female patients whose medical information is at the abject mercy of assorted miscreants.