The Johnson County District Attorney’s Office in conjunction with the Kansas Attorney General announced today that all charges against a Johnson County Planned Parenthood clinic have been dropped.
Initially, Planned Parenthood faced 107 criminal charges stemming from an investigation into abortions performed at an Overland Park clinic in 2003. The charges, filed by Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe’s predecessor, were based on documents obtained by the Kansas Attorney General’s Office between 2004 and 2006.
Most of the charges were dismissed in the last year for a variety of reasons. For example, 49 charges for failure to maintain records and making false information were dropped last year, because the Kansas Department of Health and Environment records upon which the charges were based had been destroyed.
Twenty-six misdemeanor charges for unlawful late term abortions were dismissed because they were filed in 2007 – beyond the statute of limitations.
The remaining charges dropped today alleged that the Overland Park clinic performed illegal abortions by not determining whether a fetus was viable.
In a press release, Howe said his office, with the help of Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s office did “extensive research on the accepted standards in the medical community for determining the viability of a fetus.”
They concluded that Planned Parenthood used accepted practices in the medical community to determine gestational age.
“The remaining disputes between experts in the medical field amount to a reasonable medical debate which the U.S. Supreme Court had declared unacceptable grounds for criminal prosecution,” Howe said in the release.