OpEd: To Block or Not to Block — That is the Question

By Cheryl Sullenger

Wichita, KS — Yesterday’s Kansas Supreme Court decision concerning whether Attorney General Phill Kline is entitled obtain medical records from abortion mills in his investigation of unreported child rape and illegal abortion touched off a flurry of news articles heralding Kline’s apparent defeat. Most articles ran with headlines like “Court Blocks Kline’s Access To Abortion Records.”

On the other side of the coin, we had Operation Rescue’s headline that read “KS Supreme Court Gives Kline OK to Seek Medical Records.” What gives?

Perhaps we all should read the official Kansas Supreme Court summary of opinion instead of the newspapers on this one. [Click here to read.]

The language is clear. The Kansas Supreme Court remanded the original subpoenas back to the original court that issued the subpoenas for reconsideration. The Supreme Court was concerned that if the subpoenas were granted as written, the privacy rights of some patients might be violated. In doing so, the Court basically told the Attorney General they trust the abortionists over him to keep a secret. This may be evidence of the open hostility that the famously liberal Kansas Supreme Court has toward Kline and his commitment to investigate certain “politically incorrect” crimes, but it is hardly a denial of Kline’s document request.

On the contrary, the Court gave Kline a mechanism whereby he could re-file the subpoenas. Once approved by a judge, the abortion clinic’s attorneys would be required to redact the patients’ identifying information for the sake of their privacy, then deliver the documents under seal to the judge.

Since all subpoenas must be approved by a judge, and given the fact that Kline has insisted that he never requested the names of the women in the first place, it is hard to imagine what was “blocked” from his access by yesterday’s decision.

Kline confidently stated at a press conference in Wichita that the subpoenas would be resubmitted and that he was confident they would be honored. He praised the decision of the Court for upholding the right of law enforcement to conduct investigations using the subpoena process.

In addition, the Court refused to grant the request of the two abortion mills, George Tiller’s Women’s Health Care Services and Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, that Kline be held in contempt for responding in the media to comments about the case made by abortion mill representatives while the case was under seal. Let me boil that down, in case any reporters are reading: Abortion mills lose — Kline wins.

Normally, we at Operation Rescue have what we consider to be a pretty good relationship with the media, both in Kansas and across the nation. But if you had been at the Attorney General’s press conference, as I was, then read the news articles, you would think there were two different rulings being talked about here. A free press should not object to being called on the carpet for biased reporting in an effort to keep them honest.

What would prompt such scandalously biased reporting? Attorney General Kline is up for re-election in November. The liberal factions in this state, and that includes much of the media, really hate Kline and his audacity to investigate abortion mills, especially George Tiller’s mill, since Tiller is one of the largest campaign contributors to Democratic political candidates in the state. His massive infusion of campaign money into the last gubernatorial campaign is widely credited with placing Democrat and radical abortion supporter Kathleen Sebelius in the Governor’s Mansion even though democrats only comprise approximately 27% of registered voters.

We have seen the media repeatedly block stories that have portrayed abortionist George Tiller in a bad light, like when he openly shredded documents in his abortion mill parking lot on the eve of oral arguments before the Kansas Supreme Court in this case, and when he killed Down’s Syndrome teenager Christin Gilbert during a botched third-trimester abortion, and when a grassroots coalition launched a legal petition drive to force a Grand Jury to convene to investigate Tiller for criminal wrong-doing in Christin’s death because they could get justice no other way. (Yes, you can do that in Kansas.)

For the liberal Democrats in Kansas, there can be no good news for Kline. They will paint him as a loser no matter what happens, and seem unwilling to stop at anything to vilify him. That explains why Kline lost the Kansas Supreme Court decision in the media, but won it in reality. But I can guarantee that Tiller isn’t celebrating. He and his abortion cohorts understand perfectly that this is not over yet.

  • teddi

    My friends in pro-life,

    Have you sent a letter to all the editors? Shame on the hypocritcal media, nearly always twisting and distorting. I hopeyou take them to task for their untruthful versions in this matter.

    Remind us as the election draws nearer to consider contributing to Mr. Kline’s campaign. God BLESS you for all your hard work and dedication. Thank you for the truth in this matter.

  • Cheryl’s article is terrific. After reading the Kansas Supreme court decision (available at http://www.kscourts.org/kscases/supct/2006/20060203/93383.htm), I was amazed at the media headline distortion, attempting to turn a victory into a defeat. When coupled with the Tenth Circuit’s recent ruling that criminal behavior is not shielded by the “right to privacy,” Kline has clearly defeated the abortion mills’ offensive against his subpoenas.

  • Clifton Powell

    Excellent job on reporting of Tiller and his clinic. I am praying that Tiller is charged with destroying evidence by shredding documents in the parking lot. I have written the Attorney General John Suthers here in Colorado as well concerning the same situation as Kansas. I urged Suthers to
    follow the lead of Phil Kline. We have Warren Hern here and Planned Parenthood in Denver does the same thing with covering up abuse of young girls. Keep up the fight, don’t give up. God bless!