Robert Novak

It pumped an estimated $1.5 million into the 2006 campaign for attorney general of Paul Morrison, the pro-choice Republican Johnson County district attorney who turned Democratic to run against Kline. Dr. Tiller personally contributed $121,000 to his ProKanDo PAC, which spent $322,680 in the campaign against Kline. An affiliated non-profit group, Kansans for Consumer Privacy Protection, spent more than $400,000 on "educational mailings" obviously aimed against Kline. Badly outspent, Kline relied on an old-fashioned hand-shaking campaign and was swamped at the polls.

Next occurred a bizarre event worthy of Shakespeare. Since Morrison was elected district attorney as a Republican, under state law his replacement was selected by the GOP's precinct committeemen. They chose Kline. The abortion lobby's campaign against him had made him unelectable to any office, ruling out a full term as district attorney next year. So, with time short, he immediately went to work in his new job.

His 107 charges against Planned Parenthood include allegations of "unlawful late-term abortions," "unlawful failure to determine viability for late-term abortion," "making false information" and "unlawful failure to maintain records." Anti-abortion activists see Kline's prosecution as the springboard for a national campaign. Forty other states have abortion laws similar to the Kansas statute that says abortion is legal only when the fetus cannot live independently outside the mother's womb -- that is, not "viable."

Whether or not enough prosecutors can be found to seek Kline-type indictments around the country, anti-abortion strategists are aiming at Planned Parenthood and its 860 facilities nationwide. Concerned Women for America and other pro-life organizations signed this week's letter to members of Congress asking for suspension of federal funding that amounts to about one-third of the organization's budget: "We urge you to act to ensure that our tax dollars are not subsidizing abortion clinics that perform possibly illegal abortions."

While the Democratic-controlled Congress surely will not defund Planned Parenthood, it will be pressed to fulfill its oversight mission with congressional hearings. The socially conservative Family Research Council Wednesday called for a Justice Department investigation. And Republican presidential candidates -- who proceed gingerly on abortion -- will be called to combat in this war.


Robert Novak

Robert Novak (1931-2009) was a syndicated columnist and editor of the Evans-Novak Political Report.
 

 
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