Kansas judge tosses charges in abortion case

OLATHE – A Kansas judge has dismissed the most serious charges against a Kansas City-area abortion clinic following the disclosure that key documents in the case had been destroyed.

Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe said he had no choice but to seek dismissal of the most serious felony counts against Planned Parenthood, which accused the clinic of falsifying records. Howe said the documents had been shredded.

Of the 107 overall charges against the clinic, 49 were dismissed – including 23 felonies. The remaining 58 charges accuse Planned Parenthood of failing to follow state law in late-term procedures.

Planned Parenthood denies any wrongdoing. Its attorneys say the shredding was mandated under state regulations. But abortion opponents are suspicious because the shredding occurred during the administration of former Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, an abortion-rights supporter.