How Puppy Love Became a Sex Crime
In a PBS NOW interview, Kline claimed that his dogged pursuit of alleged sex crimes against minors was more than just a pretext for prosecuting providers of abortion care and family planning services, but NOW's David Brancaccio caught him in a whopper.
DAVID BRANCACCIO: But if you're worried about the issue of kids being raped and exploitation of kids, why not also seek medical records about very young 12 and 13-year-old kids who've had babies but haven't had abortions, and go after those medical records? Why were they pregnant in those cases?
As Talk to Action's own mrblifil observed in a comment to the Lawrence Journal-World, "Uh oh. Phill made a whoopsie."
By concentrating on late abortion procedures on teens, as if that were evidence of child rape, he let the cat out of the bag that the overwhelming majority of teen pregnancies in Kansas are carried to term. Therefore the real trove of evidence is in the state's delivery rooms and neo-natal care units. But then everybody would know that Kansas is rife with teen immorality, so he changed horses in mid-stream and started "crusading" against all teen sex. This way he has the luxury of avoiding accountability for his actions by being laughed out of court, in hopes that people will forget the precepts under which he began his witch hunt in the first place.
Kline's tactic of pressuring health care providers to turn their minor patients into the authorities as sex offenders was almost certainly inspired by Life Dynamics International -- a Denton, Texas-based antiabortion organization fronted by Mark Crutcher, whose amazing resemblance to Karl Rove is more than skin deep. Crutcher says that he dreams of an America where abortion is still legal, but nobody can get one.
Life Dynamics displays an online directory of 737 clinics in the United States that offer abortion care -- or, as Crutcher vividly styles them, Death Camps.
This page lists every abortion clinic in America, so that you can be encouraged as we countdown toward victory. Rest assured, Life Dynamics will not stop until every one of these death camps is closed and the American holocaust is over.
Naturally enough, Phill Kline says, "I don't understand the problem with Life Dynamics."
However, when asked whether his Kansas crusade against abortion providers was assisted by LDI, Kline hastened to deny that he was working in association with Crutcher's group. Kline's transparent attempt to distance himself is entirely understandable given the nature of the "investigation" that LDI conducted into a fantastic tale involving the alleged selling of fetal body parts by clinics, a news bombshell that fizzled out overnight when Crutcher's chief witness admitted that he had been paid $21,000 to lie. That allegation was followed by Crutcher's notorious claim that more than 800 Planned Parenthood clinics across the country are in active collaboration with pedophiles who rape female children and pay Planned Parenthood to cover up their crimes.
Even without $21,000 as an incentive, under questioning by Brancaccio Kline was quick to deny any connection with Life Dynamics. And at the time of the interview, that might have been, if not truthful, at least "truthy." But an attorney for Life Dynamics earlier had been hired by Kline's office to defend his fancifully contortionistic interpretation of Kansas' statutory rape laws. It's just that after word got out, the LDI attorney was quickly un-hired. That Kline first hired an LDI attorney, and then misled PBS about it when asked, said more about what he was up to than any of his official pronouncements.
A report from Indiana's Nuvo reveals that Crutcher isn't quite so reticent: "We did this investigation -- the research and the sting operation -- we turned all that over to the attorney general in 11 states and now some of those states are reacting. I can't say what states I gave the information to, but it's not hard to make the connection."
Other "consultants" to Kline's campaign have appeared as expert witnesses in the most recent trial. They include such seasoned "pro-life" luminaries as Vincent Rue, a Florida-based psychologist and "traumatologist" who runs his Institute for Pregnancy Loss out of his Jacksonville home. Rue is best known as an inventor of the highly dubious condition known as Post-Abortion Syndrome, which defines the mental state of a "post-abortive" woman as a variant of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Unrecognized by any legitimate medical or psychiatric standard, PAS has become a big gun in the anti-choice arsenal, and Rue flogged it to great effect as a witness before the South Dakota Task Force on Abortion.
For a $150,000 fee, Rue was also more than glad to assist Kline as an expert witness in his efforts to paint any form of teen sex as psychologically damaging -- thus classifying it as a child abuse "injury" reportable by law.
To a casual observer, Rue would look like a bit player in the trial, helping attorneys move files in an and out of the courthouse in a large wire pushcart.
Ah, yes, we mustn't leave out child psychiatrist Dr. Allan Josephson. In testimony before the court, Josephson said that he and Rue have worked on other court cases, and that it was Rue who showed him the wisdom of reporting sexually active teenagers and their parents to the authorities: "At first, I thought it was too intrusive. ... Then after I got more information from Dr. Rue, I thought, 'Yes, this is an answer to a high-risk behavior.'"
Josephson ... told the judge that sex before age 16 contributes to problems ranging from depression to suicide -- especially for girls.
Whether it's child abuse, or consensual sex between teenagers, or any female's indulgence in sex before marriage -- no distinction, no matter -- Dr. Josephson's expert testimony was that "a core sense of self or personhood is lost." In his opinion, that qualifies any teenage sex as a child abuse injury, and any mandated reporter who failed to notify the authorities would be in violation of the law.
How did Kline's campaign to force disclosure of confidential medical records degenerate into an inquisition on the criminality of teenage sexual exploration? Even Kline himself seems confused about what he thinks ought to be illegal, but like Rue and Josephson, he's pretty sure it's more worthy of condemnation if you're a girl. Here are a few gems dredged from his own testimony by the Wichita Eagle.
Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline, who has concentrated on protecting young teens from sexual abuse, drew a legal distinction Friday between the activities of boys and girls.
Kansas authorities better informed than Kline about the true nature of criminal child abuse wish he'd find something else to get excited about. Sandra Hazlett, director of Social and Rehabilitative Services' Children and Family Services in Kansas, testified that SRS does not deem consensual sex between similarly aged teens to be criminal, and informed the court that her agency does not do any follow-up when such activity is reported. After asserting that an avalanche of bogus child abuse reports would prevent her already stretched-thin agency from servicing its legitimate caseload -- and in a real shocker to Kline's moral conscience -- Hazlett added, "Sexual exploration is a normal part of sexual development." The Eagle's reporter neglected to say whether the Attorney General was given smelling salts.
Kansas isn't the only state where medical personnel and their teenage patients are burdened by restrictions that only target providers of family planning and abortion care. Mark Crutcher's efforts have paid off in Texas, too, where the state's licensing rules for our facility mandate the same kind of intrusion into innocent, if premature, relationships.
So we make our reports, as the law requires us to do, and the social service and police agencies file and forget them. A detective in the Dallas Police Department's Child Abuse Unit expressed to me his own frustration: "Look, you know what you're doing, you know what needs to be reported, and you've done it well for years. What am I supposed to do now? Rush over there and arrest a pair of 13 year-olds for sexually abusing each other?"
If Phill Kline eventually gets his way, the answer will be yes.
How Puppy Love Became a Sex Crime | 6 comments (6 topical, 0 hidden)
How Puppy Love Became a Sex Crime | 6 comments (6 topical, 0 hidden)