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| | |-+  Abortion Clinics Fighting Kansas AG's Effort to Stop Child Rape
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« on: February 26, 2005, 10:39:36 PM »

Abortion Clinics Fighting Kansas AG's Effort to Stop Child Rape

by Mary Rettig
February 25, 2005

(AgapePress) - The Attorney General of Kansas is asking two abortion clinics to release information to help with an investigation into the rape of children. The law enforcement official wants access to the juvenile patient information in order to determine if any sexual crimes against children have been committed.

Soon after Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline took office in January 2003, he released an opinion stating that medical professionals have a legal obligation to report incidences of statutory rape. That opinion is now the subject of a constitutional challenge in federal court -- a challenge in which the American Civil Liberties Union and the abortion industry is involved, and which is expected to end up before the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, once the federal district court in Wichita has issued a final ruling.

Kline perceives it as his duty to determine whether statutory rape of children as young as age 10 was going unreported by abortion providers, as statistical reports released to the public by state agencies seem to suggest. Kansas law requires mandatory reporting of suspected child sexual abuse, and the state AG asserts that, statutorily speaking, if a child of 12 or younger is seeking abortion services, the child has been raped.

However, two Kansas abortion clinics are asking the State Supreme Court to step in and prevent the AG's office from accessing their information on underage abortion clients, because they say such access will infringe on the minor patients' right to privacy.

However, the AG contends that making the data available to the law enforcement authorities would not violate criminally assaulted children's rights. "The child's privacy is always protected," he says. "You never see the name of a child victim in the paper. No one has the right, though, to rape a child or victimize a woman, whether it be in private or public."

Kline asserts that there are two things that child predators primarily want -- access to children and secrecy. "And as Attorney General," he says, "I'm bound and determined to not give them either." These are serious crimes, the official points out, and he is serious about stopping those who commit them.

"When a 10-, 11-, or 12-year-old seeks abortion services and is pregnant, that child has been raped under Kansas law," Kline says, "and as the state's chief law enforcement official, I have the duty to prosecute child rape and other crimes in order to protect Kansas children."

But when the Kansas AG subpoenaed the abortion clinic records in a routine inquiry, making use of a statutorily-defined investigative tool known as the criminal inquisition, the two abortion clinics (as-of-now unidentifiable) resisted. They turned to the ACLU and other nationally prominent law firms for legal support and filed an emergency appeal to the Kansas Supreme Court demanding a stay of the lower court's subpoena.

Kline will be filing his response to the Kansas Supreme Court next week. Meanwhile, a well-known ACLU attorney has filed a brief in the matter. According to an official with the Kansas Attorney General's office, the abortion clinics and the ACLU are seeking in the brief and in media statements to divert the focus of the debate from child rape to issues of privacy.

According to Kansas Deputy Attorney General Bryan J. Brown, the apparent goal of the abortion clinics and the ACLU is to shut down Kline's investigation of illegal abortions, just as former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft's civil investigations into the same matter were shut down a few years ago.

Mary Rettig, a regular contributor to AgapePress, is a news reporter for American Family Radio News, which can be heard online.

http://news.christiansunite.com/Religion_News/religion02331.shtml

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