Passions Stay High in Kansas Planned Parenthood Case
So it came as a surprise to many this month when county prosecutors here announced that after years of legal battling, they had been forced to drop nearly half the charges, including all of the felony counts, citing — of all things — faulty record keeping. The misdemeanor charges, which involve accusations of failing to fully determine viability before performing some abortions, are still pending.
The revelations that documents in the case had been destroyed years ago added a fresh dose of controversy to what has been a particularly strange chapter in the abortion fight in Kansas, a messy and tangled case that emerged out of a wide-ranging investigation into abortion providers and has been consumed by allegations of misconduct by political leaders on both sides of the issue.
The state’s vocal, and increasingly empowered, contingent of abortion opponents, including a number of Republican elected officials, wondered aloud whether a cover-up was to blame. And Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri questioned whether prosecutors were encouraging conspiracy theories as a way to blame abortion rights supporters while abandoning a losing case.
As the sides swapped accusations, the state attorney general requested an investigation into the document destruction, which is now under way.