“Secrecy inside child welfare system can kill: ‘God help the children of Kansas,'” shouts the headline from Sunday’s Kansas City Star. Although a legitimate subject for investigation, the Star has never admitted to or apologized for its own role in encouraging the secrecy of the Kathleen Sebelius administration and, in the process, protecting the men who raped young Kansas girls with impunity.
When Republican Attorney General Phill Kline assumed office in 2003, one of the first things he discovered was that of the 166 abortions performed on girls under-fifteen in the years 2002 and 2003, Kansas abortion clinics reported only three cases to the state department of Social and Rehabilitation Services. They should have reported all 166.
These girls were all likely victims of statutory rape. With the rapes unreported, the girls were returned to the very environment and often to the same predators that caused them to seek an abortion. The abortionist essentially destroyed the evidence and, by using “privacy” as an excuse, shielded the predators.
When Kline began his battle to access the records, the Sebelius administration and the abortion industry fought him at every turn, and the media cheered them on with the Star in the lead.
To complement its legal and media strategies, the abortion industry contributed to a political strategy as well. In October 2005, after some serious backstage engineering by Sebelius and her cronies, popular Johnson County District Attorney Paul Morrison, a moderate Republican, announced that he would switch parties to run against Kline in November 2006.
While Kline waited for the lower court to release the patient files that he had subpoenaed, the Kansas abortion industry went to work on Kline. Wichita’s infamous George Tiller invested a small fortune to unseat him, much of it through operations like “Kansans for Consumer Privacy Protection,” an anonymous cut-out which just happened to have the same Wichita address as Tiller’s ProKanDo PAC.
ProKanDo identified voters and paid for phone calls. The aforementioned “consumer group” then used the information to send out six, coordinated, slick “Snoop Dog Kline” mailers in the weeks before the 2006 election. The mailers accused Kline of abandoning the fight on crime in favor of “snooping into women’s private medical records.” Between his PAC and the non-profit at the same address, Tiller and allies spent $1.2 million on the 2006 campaign alone.
From the beginning, the media should have seen how contrived were the abortion industry’s worries about patient privacy. Tiller’s website, for instance, provided the following caveat for prospective patients: “In connection with any fundraising, we may disclose to our fundraising staff demographic information about you (e.g. your name, address and phone number) and dates of health care that we provided you.” Patient information, the website cautioned, also passed through any number of insurance companies and third-party payers.
When Mary Kay Culp, the head of Kansans for Life, made the media aware of Tiller’s willingness to share patient data with fundraisers—including the date of the “health care”–Tiller’s clinic immediately removed the notice from its website. For most of the state’s media, this was just as well. They preferred to run with the “Snoop Dog” message. The Kansas City Star’s support for “reproductive justice” in the battle against the “anti-choice extremist” Kline was so passionate, in fact, that Planned Parenthood honored the Star with the “Maggie,” its top national prize for editorial writing.
With the full-throated support of the media, Morrison won the 2006 election. When he made his acceptance speech, he drew great cheers in claiming his as “a victory for Kansans who want to make sure their most private personal records are kept private.”
Snoop Dog Kline had been muzzled. Child rape had been enabled. The predators of Kansas breathed a sigh of relief, and the Star editors happily accepted their “Maggie.” All it took for the Star to rethink its affection for privacy, even secrecy, was to have Sam Brownback elected governor.