By Jack Cashill
Last month, two young actors posing as sex traffickers visited a Planned Parenthood clinic in Central New Jersey. Without half trying, they inspired the clinic manager to share her strategies for servicing a stable of underage sex slaves without getting caught.
According to Lila Rose, the 22-year-old founder of the group that organized the sting, this was the 11th clinic at which abortion workers volunteered to assist self-professed exploiters of underage girls.
Given the seriousness of the offenses, and the ease of evoking arguably criminal behavior, the abortion business would seem a tempting target for county prosecutors and state attorneys general.
The ambitious, however, likely know better, at least those who have studied the case of Phill Kline, the attorney general of Kansas who uniquely dared to take on the abortion industry.
Kline had good cause. When elected AG in 2002 – the same year Democrat Kathleen Sebelius was elected governor – Kansas reigned as the world’s undisputed capital of late-term abortion.
Indeed, a full 98 percent of the late-term abortions in Kansas were performed on women from out-of-state or out of the country, many, as Kline learned, in utter disregard of the state’s tough abortion laws.
As part of a larger campaign against the sexual abuse of children, Kline started turning over rocks, and the industry took note. In 2006, Planned Parenthood rewarded Kline for his vigilance by designating him a “domestic terrorist,” the only elected official among the 15 selected nationwide.
In that same year, Sebelius persuaded a popular Republican district attorney to switch parties and run against Kline. The abortion industry invested some $2 million in the campaign, and the Kansas City Star won Planned Parenthood’s top editorial honor for its unhinged anti-Kline cheerleading.
In a bad year for Republicans, even in Kansas, Kline lost. The abortion crowd had barely begun their end-zone dance, however, when in early 2007 Republican precinct captains elected Kline to complete the term of the party-switching DA who had beaten him.
As district attorney of affluent Johnson County in suburban Kansas City, Kline was able to resume the investigation he had begun years earlier into the Planned Parenthood clinic located in that county.
Kansas law allows for late-term abortions only if the baby is judged non-viable or if there is a major threat to health of the mother or to her life.
The records Kline had subpoenaed from the Planned Parenthood clinic showed that doctors had performed late-term abortions without documenting either non-viability or maternal harm in at least 23 cases.
In October 2007, Kline filed 107 counts, 23 of them felonies, against the abortion clinic. He was the first – and remains the only – prosecutor in the nation’s history to bring criminal charges against Planned Parenthood.
Even more unsettling for Planned Parenthood, three separate judges had found probable cause on four separate occasions that Kline “stood on firm legal ground” in proceeding against the abortion industry as he had.
Scarier still, these criminal charges directly threatened the $325 million in annual federal funding taxpayers “invest” in Planned Parenthood, nearly a third of its annual budget.
Planned Parenthood, however, had a friend in the governor’s office. In 2007, while Kline was proceeding with his investigation, Planned Parenthood held a birthday party for the newly re-elected Gov. Sebelius.
By the end of the evening, according to the local Planned Parenthood newsletter, “Hundreds of PPKM supporters were dancing in a conga line around the concert hall.”
Leading the “dancing pack” was Peter Brownlie, the local CEO whose abortion clinic was at the center of this deadly serious criminal investigation.
Planned Parenthood also had friends on the Kansas Supreme Court. Kansas law uniquely allows the governor to appoint justices without legislative confirmation. Not surprisingly, Sebelius appointed her allies.
The first one she chose was Carole Beier, an alumna of the National Women’s Law Center, a leftist outfit that works “to ensure that women have access to abortion care.”
Even before Kline had filed charges, Beier had joined with Planned Parenthood to enlist the Supreme Court in an investigation of Kline’s ethics.
Without informing Kline, the Court went so far as to order into silence a judge who had independently corroborated Kline’s findings.
Planned Parenthood, of course, also had friends in the media. The Star – and the local media that took their cues from the Star – hammered Kline as a “theocrat” with a prurient interest in women’s private medical records.
So relentless and effective was the slander that Kline was defeated in his bid to continue on as Johnson County district attorney.
Not content to ruin his career, the abortion industry and its allies chose to make an example of Kline by ruining his life. They did this through an ongoing ethics investigation, the defense against which Kline has had to pay for himself.
Heading up the investigation has been Stanton Hazlett, the “disciplinary administrator” who works under the direction of the Supreme Court.
Initially, Hazlett contracted with two independent attorneys to scrutinize Kline’s prosecutorial efforts. Eighteen months later, the pair offered their unwelcome conclusion:
“After reviewing the substantial documentation in this case, it is the opinion of these investigators that there is not probable cause that Phill Kline violated any of the rules of ethics.”
Promptly deep-sixed, the report came to Kline’s attention when it surfaced among the 30,000 pages of documents produced in discovery two years later.
This exoneration notwithstanding, Hazlett soldiered on. In December 2010, he sent Kline’s attorneys a list of the allegations now pending against their client. So specious and trivial are they that Kansas taxpayers should demand someone’s heads for the years and dollars wasted.
“We will argue,” wrote Hazlett tellingly, “that Mr. Kline’s strong personal anti-abortion beliefs interfered with his judgment in prosecuting the abortion clinics.”
Rest assured, Kline could have pursued any other industry in the state without fear of such reprisal. Had he done so, the smart, well-spoken Kline could have been governor today.
With prosecutors like Kline silenced, and others too fearful to speak up, the abortion industry goes about its unholy business with less regulation than any legal industry in America.
This became obvious three weeks after Hazlett posted his allegations. In January, a Philadelphia grand jury indicted Dr. Kermit Gosnell for the murder of seven babies delivered alive and then killed in a clinic the grand jury report described as “third world” in its squalor.
Said the grand jury, “The Pennsylvania Department of Health abruptly decided, for political reasons, to stop inspecting abortion clinics at all.” Apparently after pro-life Gov. Bob Casey had stepped down, Pennsylvania officials had concluded that inspections would put “a barrier up to women” seeking abortions.
On Feb. 21, Kline, now a law professor in Virginia, will return to Kansas to fight for his law license. If he loses, all barriers in Kansas will likely fall, and the state’s abortionists can be confident they will not see much in the way of inspection for years to come.
To learn more about the Kline case, please see standwithtruth.com.