Health
4:04 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Charges Dropped Against Planned Parenthood

Prosecutors in Kansas have dropped all remaining criminal charges against Planned Parenthood.

Today’s decision marks the end of an eight-year investigation spurred by former Attorney General Phill Kline who'd filed over 100 charges against the Overland Park-based clinic, alleging it performed illegal late-term abortions about a decade ago.

Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe says he and Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt dismissed the last of the charges because state law would have required them to show a reasonable probability that a child could have survived.

"After consulting with a number of experts in the field of fetal medicine, what we’ve determined is we cannot reach that burden of proof," says Howe.

In other words, Howe says he wouldn’t have been able to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that doctors at Planned Parenthood committed medical malpractice, especially because medical experts could not reach that conclusion.

Previous charges had been dismissed because they were filed outside the statute of limitations and because the state health department had destroyed abortion records that prosecutors had planned to use as evidence.