Could One Man Influence Abortion Law?

Files Leaked

Kline denies any ruse on his part, but critics argue that his initial investigation into the clinics was always intended as a "witch hunt" against abortion providers.

Further controversy ensued when some of the patients' files were leaked to Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, who had Kline as a guest on his show.

"Mr. Kline has denied he gave the files to Bill O'Reilly," said Burgess, who was tight-lipped about the details of any of the current or former complaints filed by Kline.

Kline's case against Tiller was eventually thrown out by the Kansas Supreme Court.

"[The charges against Dr. Tiller] were absolutely inaccurate and false and based on a completely skewed interpretation of the right to abort statute," said Ashley Anstaett, the spokeswoman for Kansas' current Attorney General Paul Morrison, who defeated Kline in the 2006 attorney general's race.

"Kline just personifies the abortion debate," Burdett Loomis, a political science professor at Kansas University, told "...It is very much seen, I think, even by the pro-life people, that Kline's personal beliefs are his No. 1 priority."

Kline's spokesperson added that the district attorney has focused on cases unrelated to the abortion debate. Kline argued before the United States Supreme Court in Kansas v. Marsh, which reinstated the death penalty in Kansas.

"Over the years, he's become more passionate about the anti-abortion debate," said Loomis, who served briefly as the spokesperson for Kansas' democratic governor in 2004. "He's very ambitious. I think he saw this as a ticket in some ways. He's always been conservative but [abortion] was an avenue he was going to plow ahead on as far as he could."

Kline's popularity, even among moderate conservatives and some republicans, has waned throughout the judicial community, who still view him as the man who cost the party the attorney general's post.

Could Kline Have a Significant Impact on Abortion?

Abortion rights advocates told that if Kline is successful in his charges against Planned Parenthood, women all over the country may have a harder time getting abortions.

"[Kline's complaints] could affect women all over the country," said Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women. "Women far beyond the borders of Kansas go to places like Dr. Tiller's clinic, because he is one of the very few who has the courage to do this kind of work. He's [part of] a handful of doctors who still do it."

Even the fact that Kline is going after these abortion clinics could make it harder for women to receive the care they need, Gandy told The more targeted these clinics become, she said, the fewer doctors who will be willing to work at them.

And, with so few doctors already available to perform late-term abortions – which Gandy said she believed women usually only resort to in dire circumstances – having to travel all the way to Kansas puts an additional financial burden on women who are already worried about financing the procedure. If clinics in Kansas are closed, women would potentially have to travel even farther and spend more.

Advocates for Kline's cause say that no matter what the outcome of the case, the DA is doing the right thing by holding the clinics accountable under the law.

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