Source AP ©

Kansas clinic charged with making illegal late-term abortions

A Kansas clinic was charged with providing unlawful abortions and other crimes.

The case illustrates the ongoing debate over the issue in the United States, 34 years after the United States' highest court established a constitutional right to abortion.

The Planned Parenthood clinic was charged with 107 counts, including 29 misdemeanor counts of providing illegal late-term abortions.

The state's current attorney general, Paul Morrison, previously reviewed the allegations upon which Johnson County District Attorney Phill Kline's criminal charges are based and found no wrongdoing, Morrison spokeswoman Ashley Anstaett said.

"We are skeptical that these charges have any merit, and we continue to wonder how much politics influenced Mr. Kline's decision to file these charges," Anstaett said.

As attorney general, Kline fought for two years to get abortion records from the clinic and another clinic. He said he was investigating whether clinic doctors performed illegal abortions and failed to report suspected child abuse; the clinics alleged he was on a "fishing expedition."

Morrison warned Planned Parenthood's attorneys in June that Kline, who lost his re-election attempt, appeared to still have access to copies of patient records he had obtained as attorney general.

Documents in this case have been sealed, according to a court order. The first hearing is set for Nov. 16.

Kline's office did not immediately comment on the charges.

"I've heard nothing at all about specific charges that have been filed," said Peter Brownlie, Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri's president and chief executive officer. "We always provide high-quality care in full accord with state and federal law."

Brownlie said its clinic does not perform abortions past the 22nd week of pregnancy.

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