Abortion Politics

ABORTION POLITICS….The LA Times reports that the Kansas attorney general, an abortion foe, wants two Kansas abortion clinics to hand over about 90 files related to “cases in which adult women had undergone late-term abortions and girls age 15 and younger had had abortions.” Kansas prohibits late-term abortions except to protect the health of the mother, and the clinics say they have obeyed this law:

The clinics, which described the attorney general’s subpoena as a “fishing expedition,” said that they would be willing to release the records as long as specific identifying information ? such as names ? was blocked out.

Obviously you don’t need personal information to ensure that the law about late-term abortions was followed, so why not accept the redacted records? The age of consent in Kansas is 16, and Attorney General Phill Kline says it’s because he wants to investigate possible child rape cases. The New York Times adds this:

Mr. Kline’s efforts to obtain records from abortion clinics follows his failed attempt last year to require the state’s health workers to report any sexual activity of girls younger than 16, the age of legal consent in Kansas.

In other words, this guy really does want to prosecute anyone under 16 who’s had sex. Or so it seems.

But does he? After all, if he’s really serious, all he needs to do is keep track of birth records. Any teenager who has a baby at an age younger than 16 years and nine months has pretty clearly fallen afoul of the law and ought to be investigated. So why not do that?

The answer is obvious: Kline has no interest in prosecuting statutory rape, he has an interest in shutting down abortion clinics and family planning services ? or at least harassing them as much as possible. That’s good wedge politics, after all. Investigating thousands of single teenage mothers, on the other hand, isn’t.

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