Friday, February 25, 2005

Why Don't You Subpoena Their Diaries Too?

Famed DoG staffer, The Jeffersonian is in a tizzy about a story in the Times today, and I can't say that I blame him.

Down in good-ol' Kansas, they have a freaky pro-life attorney general. No surprise there. But he decided that in order to protect and to serve, he needs to dig through the medical records of every woman who's had an abortion. If he can read every salacious detail about every dirty slut who has exercised her constitutional right to control her own body, he can hunt down a few rapists or something. That's the argument, anyway.

"When a 10-, 11- or 12-year-old child is pregnant, under Kansas law that child has been raped, and as the state's chief law enforcement official it is my obligation to investigate child rape in order to protect Kansas children," Mr. Kline said. "There are two things that child predators want, access to children and secrecy. As attorney general, I'm bound and determined not to give them either."
Weird thing is, he's not going after the records of only the pre-teen abortions. He's going after the records of ALL abortions.
The clinics' brief said that the subpoena covered "the entire, unredacted patient files of nearly 90 women who obtained abortions at two Kansas clinics in 2003" and that it was not limited by age or the absence of abuse reports.
That's odd. It almost sounds as if he's got some sort of political axe to grind...
Despite that law passed in 1998, Kansas has become a national magnet for late-term abortions because of a doctor in Wichita who performs hundreds of them each year. The doctor, George Tiller, funneled at least $150,000 through political action committees to Mr. Kline's opponent in the attorney general's race in 2002, and his clinic, Women's Health Care Services, is one of the two whose records are being subpoenaed.
I wonder if there's any sort of hidden agenda. Anyway, that's all beside the point. There are laws and just plain regular ethics in this country. We can't be just subpoenaing every damn medical record searching for the possibility of a crime having occurred. If that were the case, then we should issue a search warrant for every house in the country. No doubt there's a meth lab or a whorehouse that we don't know about somewhere. The government should read every piece of mail and listen in to every phone conversation. But they don't (yet). You know why? Because of that pesky United States Constitution. They got all kinds of neat things in there. Some we don't use - like about Congress declaring war - but some we do! And there's a little dealie about illegal search and seizure. So lay off the girls, would you, Mr. Kline? Don't you think they have been through enough?

No comments: