Kansas AG Morrison Files Motion To Intervene In Legal Dispute Between Planned Parenthood Affiliate

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Kansas Attorney General Paul Morrison (D) on Wednesday filed a motion to intervene in the legal dispute between Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri's Overland Park, Kan., clinic Comprehensive Health and former state Attorney General Phill Kline (R), the AP/Topeka Capital-Journal reports (AP/Topeka Capital-Journal, 7/20).

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Kline in 2004 subpoenaed the records of 90 women and girls who in 2003 underwent late-term abortions at Comprehensive Health or Women's Health Care Servicesin Wichita, Kan., saying there is probable cause that each recordcontains evidence of a felony. The state Supreme Court in February 2006ruled that Kline can seek access to the records but that he must returnto Shawnee County, Kan., District Court Judge Richard Anderson andpresent his reasons for seeking the subpoenas. Anderson turned over therecords to Kline's office in November 2006 after removing informationthat would identify individuals.

Morrison -- who defeatedKline in the November 2006 election -- last month in a letter to PPKMMattorney Pedro Irigonegaray wrote that he has ended the investigationof Comprehensive Health. Morrison added that the attorney general'soffice "found no evidence of any criminal wrongdoing" by the clinic.Morrison in the letter also said that Kline forwarded copies of themedical records from PPKMM patients to the Johnson County, Kan.,district attorney's office on Jan. 5 -- three days before he left thestate attorney general's office. Kline, who replaced Morrison asJohnson County district attorney, retains copies of the records,according to Morrison's letter.

PPKMM CEO Peter Brownlie earlierthis month confirmed that the clinic on June 6 filed a petition withthe state Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus against Kline, and thecourt on June 22 told Kline he had until July 12 to respond (Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report, 7/9). The state Supreme Court has sealed Morrison's filing, along with records in the petition, the Kansas City Star reports. All the parties involved declined to comment (Kansas City Star, 7/19).
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