Baseless and Politically Motivated Case Against Planned Parenthood Dismissed
In a significant victory for the women and families who rely on Planned Parenthood for health care, this afternoon, all remaining allegations in the case of State of Kansas v. Comprehensive Health of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri were dismissed.
Johnson County taxpayers and Planned Parenthood will no longer waste enormous time and money on these politically motivated allegations brought by now-discredited prosecutor Phill Kline.
“This case has been an abuse of political power, pure and simple,” noted Pedro Irigonegaray, counsel for Planned Parenthood. “Kline, Brownback, and their supporters are extremists who are willing to use any means to accomplish their ends, including misusing the law enforcement and judicial systems at great taxpayer expense.”
Since the case first began with the inquisition launched by Phill Kline in 2003, Planned Parenthood has been exonerated of these allegations four times. Kline has wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars from Kansas and Johnson County taxpayers in pursuit of his political agenda.
“Women don’t turn to politicians for advice about birth control, breast exams, cancer screenings or treatments,” said Peter Brownlie, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri. “Politicians should not be involved in a woman’s personal medical decisions about her pregnancy. Our doors are open today and will be open tomorrow --- Planned Parenthood won't let politics interfere with the health care 25,000 women in Kansas and Missouri rely on each year.”
For more than eight years, Planned Parenthood stood up for women to protect their right to medical privacy and compassionate care in Kansas. The last thing Kansans want is government officials pawing over the most intimate details of their lives when those citizens have done nothing but seek confidential medical care.
"Today’s news sends a strong warning to elected officials in Kansas and around the country campaigning on a political crusade against women’s health and Planned Parenthood,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund. “The message is clear: You cannot use public office to warp the law to advance an ideological agenda aimed at intimidating women and the health care providers they rely on."
While this misguided prosecution has finally crumbled, the spectacle it created - over-zealous prosecutors invading women’s medical records, women's access to healthcare seriously imperiled, and conscientious and courageous healthcare providers threatened with criminal punishment - should serve as a warning to all Kansans and all Americans about the dangers to our free society of electing extremists and ideologues to positions of power.
Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri is a vital resource for our community and for women and families throughout Kansas and Missouri. We are a trusted source of health care and education for thousands of women, men, and children. For 75 years, women have relied on Planned Parenthood to keep themselves and their families safe and healthy.
August 17, 2012