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Kan. drops Planned Parenthood prosecution

  |   Aug. 17, 2012 at 9:08 PM
KANSAS CITY, Mo., Aug. 17 (UPI) -- State and local prosecutors in Kansas said Friday they were dismissing remaining misdemeanor criminal charges against Planned Parenthood.

The decision by Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe brings to an end a prosecution that began eight years ago under former state Attorney General Phil Kline, The Kansas City (Mo.) Star reported.

Peter Brownlie, president of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, accused Kline and Gov. Sam Brownback of using the prosecution to try to shut down abortion services in the state, the newspaper said.

"The dismissal of these charges is a strong blow against those who have been using this case to further their political agenda to eliminate access to abortion care and harm Planned Parenthood," Brownlie said. "It makes clear what Planned Parenthood has said throughout this case: that Kline, Brownback and their supporters are willing to use any means they can to accomplish their ends, including misusing the law enforcement and judicial systems at great taxpayer expense."

The charges dropped Friday were among 107 counts initially filed against Planned Parenthood, which had been accused of performing illegal late-term abortions in 2003. Forty-nine charges filed against the reproductive healthcare organization were dismissed in November, after prosecutors said records central to their case had been shredded sometime in 2005, two years before the charges were filed.

Twenty-six counts were dropped two weeks ago because of the statute of limitations, the Star reported.

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