Release of Open Records Deepens Planned Parenthood “Shredder-gate” Scandal

Topeka, KS — Open records received by Operation Rescue from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment raise more questions than they answer about the recent revelation that documents containing critical evidence against Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri were shredded under the Sebelius Administration.

Operation Rescue asked the agency for a broad range of documents and communications between KDHE and Planned Parenthood and/or the office of former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, who now serves as President Obama’s Secretary of Health and Human Services.

KDHE provided a scant number of documents reflecting an e-mail request from Planned Parenthood’s Sheila Kostas asking for information listed on Termination of Pregnancy (TOP) forms was made on August 10, 2005. The records show that KDHE’s Greg Crawford complied with the request the following day.

“This exchange was revealing because of the informal way Kostas and Crawford addressed each other, and the speediness of the answer from KDHE concerning TOP information. It shows a friendly, working relationship that has some apparent history,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “Contrast that with the hostility expressed by KDHE in responding to an investigation by a pro-life Attorney General’s office, and we have a troubling bias and motivation for evidence destruction.”

KDHE under Sebelius repeatedly fought turning over to law enforcement Termination of Pregnancy (TOP) forms submitted by Planned Parenthood and Women’s Health Care Services, a late-term abortion clinic in Wichita. It took a court order in 2004 for KDHE to produce the records to the office of Attorney General Phill Kline, who was investigating abortion clinics for the non-reporting of child sex abuse.

It is the nature of the documents that KDHE said do not exist that only serves to broaden the mystery of why evidence subpoenaed in a criminal investigation of Planned Parenthood in 2004 was shredded sometime in 2005 while TOP forms submitted by Women’s Health Care Services was retained until 2010, a year after Tiller’s death and the permanent closure of his abortion facility.

“There had to be some thought process that went into the decision to destroy Planned Parenthood’s records on one hand and retain Tiller’s records on the other,” said Newman. “There appears to be no documentation of such a momentous decision, while a relatively minor request from Planned Parenthood for TOP data is thoroughly documented. This only contributes to conspiracy theories that the Sebelius Administration was protecting Planned Parenthood.”

Crawford, who still works for the KDHE, told a legislative committee in September, 2007, that he was merely responsible to see to it that the blanks on the forms were filled in. According to court testimony in the Tiller criminal case, he coached the abortion clinics to enter the statutory language “substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function” instead of the actual reason and basis for each post-viability abortion as required by law.

“This begs the question: With such a cozy relationship with Planned Parenthood, did Greg Crawford order the Planned Parenthood evidence to be destroyed? If he didn’t, I bet he knows who did,” said Newman.

Planned Parenthood faces 107 criminal charges related to illegal late-term abortions, including 23 felony counts related to manufacturing evidence to cover their crimes. The KDHE TOP forms contained evidence that Planned Parenthood faked the forms kept in patient files to cover up for omitting them. The forms also contain evidence that Planned Parenthood committed post-viability abortion, something they have denied. Statue requires that copies of the TOP forms be kept in the patients’ permanent files.

A status hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, November 9, 2011, before Judge Stephen Tatum where District Attorney Steve Howe is expected to update the court on whether or not he believes the case against Planned Parenthood can be made without the original documents.

“We still believe that a case can be made against Planned Parenthood by detailing the chain of custody for the existing copies of the documents,” said Newman. “In any case, the destruction of incriminating evidence is troubling, and the public deserves to know the truth.”

Read documents supplied by KDHE