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Spacewriter
2005-Feb-25, 04:09 PM
Authorities Targeting Medical Records and Sex Histories of Women in Kansas (http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/02/24/abortion.investigation.ap/index.html)

Doodler
2005-Feb-25, 04:12 PM
Authorities Targeting Medical Records and Sex Histories of Women in Kansas (http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/02/24/abortion.investigation.ap/index.html)

:evil: :o #-o 8-[ [-X ](*,)

I think that about covers it...

jt-3d
2005-Feb-25, 04:12 PM
What's so scary, lawyers and politicians doing their job for a change?

Spacewriter
2005-Feb-25, 04:14 PM
What's so scary, lawyers and politicians doing their job for a change?

Not going there with you.

I posted this not to start anyone yelling about politics, but to point out that flagrant violations of privacy are being requested in Kansas. This is not a good thing.

Doodler
2005-Feb-25, 04:26 PM
What's so scary, lawyers and politicians doing their job for a change?

Um, this is a fishing expedition into private medical information? No probable cause in particular cases, just a general "lets go look and see"? No way in heck could this stand up under current rules of discovery...

Jpax2003
2005-Feb-25, 07:00 PM
Are we sure this is a fishing expidition for the purposes of simply making a stir? They make it sound as if there may be a few cases pointing to those two clinics. If that is the case, and they want information on specific women then they could try to get a subpoena for those specific records. However, it also sounds like they intend to use one or two cases as a can opener to check out the clinic's practices and clientele to look for violations. I think they should stick to the old fashioned practice of prosecuting cases brought to their attention and not go looking for trouble. If they want to close the clinics, then one or two actively pursued cases should suffice for removal of the license. Although I wonder if they'll try to make the case that patient confidentiality doesn't apply because the doctors don't abide by the hippocratic oath clause of "first, do no harm..." Note: this is not my politics, just wondering what they are thinking.

This sounds like something Planned Parenthood might rally against. They could bus in protesters from around the country. It'd be like the Million Mom March, but maybe they should call it the Million Might've been a Mom March.

Spacewriter
2005-Feb-25, 07:05 PM
I think there are bigger issues here than a simple fishing expedition against two family planning clinics. The precedent this sets for further invasions of privacy is breathtaking. Would YOU like it if the state were fishing around in YOUR records, or your mother's or daughter's or wife's?

And, once that information is in the state's hands, how long before somebody's private medical info is in the wrong hands? State offices leak like a sieve.

No, this just doesn't look good at all.

Doodler
2005-Feb-25, 07:17 PM
Keep in mind, there are rules of discovery and understood rules governing the privacy of medical records, any doctor that volunteered cooperation with an investigation like this would be stripped of his license without hesitation. Defense attorney's would have ANY information gathered by these means thrown out of a courtroom and would actually have grounds on which to file for the disbarrment of the district attorney who DARED to act on that information.

Its a gross violation of the laws governing discovery of evidence and amounts to blatantly illegal search and seizure. No probable cause means no grounds to subpeona ANYTHING.

beskeptical
2005-Feb-25, 08:46 PM
What's so scary, lawyers and politicians doing their job for a change?Must resist....can't discuss religion nor politics on this board...Go take your trolling to a board where people can tell you your opinion is .....must resist.... [-X

Well since you posted your opinion, at least I'll say you are full of it.

Lurker
2005-Feb-25, 09:14 PM
OK... can't resist...

It's against the law in some states to attempt suicide. Am I to be arrested because I messed up and didn't do the job well enough? Lets open my medical records that will clearly show me in violation of this law. Lets throw me in jail for this offense.

Yeah, I know... it's not the same thing, but unless there is serious evidence of a crime, lets leave well enough alone.

Gullible Jones
2005-Feb-25, 10:40 PM
This is nuts... :o :evil:

Makgraf
2005-Feb-25, 10:43 PM
What's so scary, lawyers and politicians doing their job for a change?Must resist....can't discuss religion nor politics on this board...Go take your trolling to a board where people can tell you your opinion is .....must resist.... [-X

Well since you posted your opinion, at least I'll say you are full of it.
Sorry, what? All the statements on this thread are "political". So why is it that the one disagreeing with your opinion is the political one. Or did you just want to use a fishing-trolling pun? :)

I don't see this as a fishing expedition at all. Maybe we're using different definitions here, but from the way I understand the phrase a fishing expedition would be to request all the files at the clinic and then go through them to see if there was anything that they could find. But he's requesting the records of a) late-term abortions and b) underage girls. Now, late term abortions are illegal (except for health of the mother issues) so he's requesting information about specific criminal activities. The second one seems kinda sketchy, in this case the crime in question was committed against the person having the abortion (i.e. having sex with an under 16 year old girl is rape). So presumably in this case the object of the AG is to prosecute the rapists by getting information that a crime was committed and then going through details of her sex life to find the rapist. This does seem to fit the defintion given above for a fishing expedition.

It seems though that if these clinics have had at least 90 instances where they committed infantacide (by killing a fetus that was viable outside the womb) or helped faciliate the rape of children by not informing police that a crime has been committed (like if a hospital didn't inform police about a string of gunshot victims they had) then it seems that someone should be investigating them.

Gillianren
2005-Feb-25, 10:51 PM
22 weeks is not necessarily viable outside the womb. it's, what, about five months? have you ever seen a baby delivered that premature? some survive. a lot don't.

but more to the point, why are they looking? I didn't find this information. have the minors filed rape charges? have their parents? or is did the state just decide to investigate? has anyone pressed rape charges? do we have evidence that it was just the girls who were under sixteen? will charges be pressed against the boys and the girls if it turns out the boys were under sixteen, too?

I'm not going to discuss the older women, because we clearly have strongly conflicting viewpoints that would get very political very quickly.

beskeptical
2005-Feb-25, 11:04 PM
What's so scary, lawyers and politicians doing their job for a change?Must resist....can't discuss religion nor politics on this board...Go take your trolling to a board where people can tell you your opinion is .....must resist.... [-X

Well since you posted your opinion, at least I'll say you are full of it.
Sorry, what? All the statements on this thread are "political". So why is it that the one disagreeing with your opinion is the political one. Or did you just want to use a fishing-trolling pun? :)........The topic was about invasion of privacy. It totally skirts the line of politics and religion given the nature of the subject matter but it is possible to stay away from politics and religion and still discuss it. Jt-3d's post is an anti-abortion troll comment. If I mis-interpreted it, fine, my statement is in error. Given he said lawyers and politicians, and not prosecutors or police investigators, I doubt I mis-interpreted it.

Makgraf
2005-Feb-25, 11:43 PM
22 weeks is not necessarily viable outside the womb. it's, what, about five months? have you ever seen a baby delivered that premature? some survive. a lot don't.
I was a bit surprised by Kansas law because they criminalize abortion before the third tremester. Still, you do have some viability at this time (though as you point out, it is harder for fetuses to survive at this point)


but more to the point, why are they looking? I didn't find this information. have the minors filed rape charges? have their parents? or is did the state just decide to investigate? has anyone pressed rape charges? do we have evidence that it was just the girls who were under sixteen? will charges be pressed against the boys and the girls if it turns out the boys were under sixteen, too?
I'll use an analogy here: imagine you had a clinic that had a lot of beaten-up women (sorry, women who "fell down the staires") coming in. Now, and this may be different in different jurisdictions, but were I am the clinic should report this to the police who could investigate whether domestic abuse was occuring. So it seems that the state wants to a) identify the victims and then b) look through their sexual history to try and find the rapist. As I said in my first post this seems very sketchy for several reasons. Some others may be that the girl could have conceived in a jurisdiction where statutory rape wouldn't have occured (i.e. in a place where the age of consent is 14+). Or that the information accquired could leak out causing emotional trauma to the girl.


I'm not going to discuss the older women, because we clearly have strongly conflicting viewpoints that would get very political very quickly.
Fair enough. But without getting into the moral aspects of it, abortion after 22+ weeks is illegal (with exceptions). Thus requesting the files is an attempt to enforce the law (some would say, a misguided one).





What's so scary, lawyers and politicians doing their job for a change?Must resist....can't discuss religion nor politics on this board...Go take your trolling to a board where people can tell you your opinion is .....must resist.... [-X

Well since you posted your opinion, at least I'll say you are full of it.
Sorry, what? All the statements on this thread are "political". So why is it that the one disagreeing with your opinion is the political one. Or did you just want to use a fishing-trolling pun? :)........The topic was about invasion of privacy. It totally skirts the line of politics and religion given the nature of the subject matter but it is possible to stay away from politics and religion and still discuss it. Jt-3d's post is an anti-abortion troll comment. If I mis-interpreted it, fine, my statement is in error. Given he said lawyers and politicians, and not prosecutors or police investigators, I doubt I mis-interpreted it.
Well I have no idea what the motivations behind Jt-3d's post were (as I'm not him). But it seems to be that if complaining about government invasion of personal privacy isn't political, then what is?

Spacewriter
2005-Feb-26, 03:05 AM
Makgraf,

Stick to the point here -- I brought this up as a discussion of invasion of privacy, which the AG is doing by requesting a victim's complete medical history and sexual history. I specifically did not ask to discuss issues regarding abortion.

Did you read the article? If not, I suggest you read it and consider whether you want the state digging around in anybody's COMPLETE medical history on a fishing expedition.

tmosher
2005-Feb-26, 03:12 AM
Makgraf,

Stick to the point here -- I brought this up as a discussion of invasion of privacy, which the AG is doing by requesting a victim's complete medical history and sexual history. I specifically did not ask to discuss issues regarding abortion.

Did you read the article? If not, I suggest you read it and consider whether you want the state digging around in anybody's COMPLETE medical history on a fishing expedition.

I read the article and to me it sounds like the Kansas AG is on a fishing expedition.

jt-3d
2005-Feb-26, 04:29 AM
What's so scary, lawyers and politicians doing their job for a change?Must resist....can't discuss religion nor politics on this board...Go take your trolling to a board where people can tell you your opinion is .....must resist.... [-X

Well since you posted your opinion, at least I'll say you are full of it.

Keep that up. It looks good on you.

I said politicians because IMO DAs are politicians and most politicians are lawyers so I tend to lump them together. Whatever...

Anybody want to see my medical records? I've got nothing to hide.

Jpax2003
2005-Feb-26, 05:09 AM
The article doesn't make it clear that it is a fishing expedition but it sounds like it. The intent of the article in attempting to expose these prosecutorial methods seems to bear this out. Unfortunately, the journalist probably can't comment directly on any cases of child rape because of privacy laws, so we are left to extrapolate. I'm not sure if a minor would have medical privacy protection in such a case or if a parent can trump that in Kansas. I suppose the level of outrage will depend on the aims of the investigation. If it is a true fishing expedition then I think more people will be upset. If it turns out that the clinic is covering for a child slave/prostitution ring then fewer will be upset. However, advocates of freedom and liberty should stay vigilant and keep their eyes on this case either way.

sts60
2005-Feb-26, 05:35 AM
Anybody want to see my medical records? I've got nothing to hide.

Good for you. Neither do I. But you sure as heck can't look at mine. [-X

Gillianren
2005-Feb-26, 06:02 AM
even in the process of applying for disability (anyone know a good disability lawyer in the Olympia area?), I had to sign a whole ton of paperwork giving my various past doctors permission to give the Social Security Administration permission to obtain my medical records. and you know what? I'm fine w/that. my records, my business.

do I have anything to find? heck no. I have arthritis, scoliosis, and manic depression, and I don't care who knows. I have a seven-year-old daughter of whom I am immensely proud, although I gave her up for adoption the day after her birth. I tell random strangers (ie, people I know less well than you guys) these things, if it's pertinent to conversation.

but you know what? it's still my business. I choose to give up this information to you guys, and to random strangers if it's pertinent to conversation. obviously, the medical complaints are the business of the Social Security Administration, if I expect them to give me money for them. but no part of that is illegal, and no part of it is the business of any other part of the government. or anyone else I choose not to inform.

The Bad Astronomer
2005-Feb-26, 06:23 AM
beskeptical, I frown on accusations of trolling around here. As admin, I reserve the right to do it, but I prefer others do not. It makes for a hostile atmosphere.

Plus, I don't see where jt-3d's post was trolling. He made a comment, which stands on its own, and came back to defend it.

Everyone here should have a care. Spacewriter's post of itself is semi-political, but interesting, and this thread can easily go astray.

edited to change makgraf to beskeptical due to my misreading the quote

Spacewriter
2005-Feb-26, 12:17 PM
Thanks BA, I know this is semi-political and can skirt some tough issues, but to me the biggest issue here is invasion of privacy, which I don't think should be suggested by an officer of the law, I don't care what his/her religion compels him/her to feel about certain activities that are legal.

What really bothers me is the potential for abuse of something like this. I mean, what really comes about if this man gets this list of women who have utilized services of these clinics? It's essentially a registry of sexually-active women (whether they wanted to be active is another issue). And while that information may be used by the court and declared "private" once it's been flushed out from the privacy of medical records, we have seen in recent days just how "private" our "private" information stays once a government entity or one of its contractors gets its hands on the information. I only need to point to the ChoicePoint problems, and more recently the Bank of America loss of financial records that have now compromised millions of people's financial records and identities. It's not a far stretch to imagine an ethically-challenged member of the Kansas courts, or state patrol, or a politician, somehow getting his/her hands on the registry this AG wants to create and using it for less than honest purposes. Can you imagine a future political campaign,for example, wherein a candidate is surprised by a "Swift-Boat" style attack that looks something like this: "Senator X wants you to believe he/she is against ABC, but in fact in 1999, his/her medical records show that his wife/she was a patient at the ZZZ clinic, where the following procedure was done... "

Or, imagine this one: a young woman applying for a job somewhere in Kansas and being denied because her employer had on record that she'd been treated at such-and-such a clinic, which was handing out birth control.

Or, even more nefarious: imagine a state trooper deciding it was time to exercise his authority in a small town where he knows several of the women are "active" because he saw their names on "The List."

If I can imagine these, so can the ethically-challenged in religious and political circles, and they can and would make use of that information for less than honest means.

This is why we prize privacy, folks. And crap like this AG is proposing is something bigger than a nose in the tent by a camel that shouldn't even be near the tent. (to use a metaphor).

THIS is why I bring this up -- because invasion of privacy isn't just some yahoo nosing into your bank records. It's some yahoo sticking his nose in other places it definitely doesn't belong. This AG isn't stupid -- by choosing women who have had abortions or access to birth control, he's playing to a very powerful (but bigoted) constituency in order to portray himself as a "law and order" AG. What he's opening is a Pandora's box that even he won't be able to control. And this is where we step up to the plate and let him and others like him know that when it comes to personal privacy, NOBODY's rights should be abrogated for any reason. Period.

Issues about abortion (and I agree that they are sticky ones) are not the issue in this argument and I'd prefer that we stick to the invasion of privacy issue and leave the ethical discussions about abortion and birth control out of it.

papageno
2005-Feb-26, 01:39 PM
I don't see this as a fishing expedition at all. Maybe we're using different definitions here, but from the way I understand the phrase a fishing expedition would be to request all the files at the clinic and then go through them to see if there was anything that they could find. But he's requesting the records of a) late-term abortions and b) underage girls. Now, late term abortions are illegal (except for health of the mother issues) so he's requesting information about specific criminal activities.
By asking for the records of all late-term abortions?




The second one seems kinda sketchy, in this case the crime in question was committed against the person having the abortion (i.e. having sex with an under 16 year old girl is rape). So presumably in this case the object of the AG is to prosecute the rapists by getting information that a crime was committed and then going through details of her sex life to find the rapist. This does seem to fit the defintion given above for a fishing expedition.
If they ask for all under-age abortions it is fishing; if they ask for all late-term abortions it is not.
Why this distinction?



It seems though that if these clinics have had at least 90 instances where they committed infantacide (by killing a fetus that was viable outside the womb) or helped faciliate the rape of children by not informing police that a crime has been committed (like if a hospital didn't inform police about a string of gunshot victims they had) then it seems that someone should be investigating them.
By asking for all and only under-age and late-term abortion records?


(These questoins make sense if I did not misunderstood what happened.)

Makgraf
2005-Feb-26, 07:17 PM
Stick to the point here -- I brought this up as a discussion of invasion of privacy, which the AG is doing by requesting a victim's complete medical history and sexual history. I specifically did not ask to discuss issues regarding abortion.

Did you read the article? If not, I suggest you read it and consider whether you want the state digging around in anybody's COMPLETE medical history on a fishing expedition.
Of course I read the article. The question is, did you? Because the article specificially states that rather than subpoenaing all medical records and then fishing through them, he only asked for the ones where crimes had been committed. I'm not debating whether late-term abortions should be criminalized, that's a moral debate that would be inappropriate to have here. But they are. And if laws exist, they should be enforced (or else a culture of disrespect for the law grows). So either the laws should be repealed or they should be enforced. Privacy is violated all the time in criminal investigations. There have been many debates on the board about how much privacy should be sacrificed. (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=19382&view=previous) By posing a reason why privacy should be invaded we are discussing the question, not sidetracking it.




I don't see this as a fishing expedition at all. Maybe we're using different definitions here, but from the way I understand the phrase a fishing expedition would be to request all the files at the clinic and then go through them to see if there was anything that they could find. But he's requesting the records of a) late-term abortions and b) underage girls. Now, late term abortions are illegal (except for health of the mother issues) so he's requesting information about specific criminal activities.
By asking for the records of all late-term abortions?
Well yeah, because late-term abortions are illegal. What's your definition of a fishing expedition?





The second one seems kinda sketchy, in this case the crime in question was committed against the person having the abortion (i.e. having sex with an under 16 year old girl is rape). So presumably in this case the object of the AG is to prosecute the rapists by getting information that a crime was committed and then going through details of her sex life to find the rapist. This does seem to fit the defintion given above for a fishing expedition.
If they ask for all under-age abortions it is fishing; if they ask for all late-term abortions it is not.
Why this distinction?
In the first case they're zeroing in on the crime (have a late-term abortion, get a suponea). But in the second case they're going to troll through the girl's medical records in an attempt to find something. I guess another way to put in is that they know exactly what they want in the first case. But they have no idea about the identity of the rapist in the second case, or if there even was a rapist. I was also talking about the sketchiness of this action because of the possibility of damages to the girl if it leaks (which Spacewriter covers in more detail)




It seems though that if these clinics have had at least 90 instances where they committed infantacide (by killing a fetus that was viable outside the womb) or helped faciliate the rape of children by not informing police that a crime has been committed (like if a hospital didn't inform police about a string of gunshot victims they had) then it seems that someone should be investigating them.
By asking for all and only under-age and late-term abortion records?
Exactly. Is there something I'm missing here.

beskeptical
2005-Feb-26, 07:39 PM
beskeptical, I frown on accusations of trolling around here. As admin, I reserve the right to do it, but I prefer others do not. It makes for a hostile atmosphere.

Plus, I don't see where jt-3d's post was trolling. He made a comment, which stands on its own, and came back to defend it.

Everyone here should have a care. Spacewriter's post of itself is semi-political, but interesting, and this thread can easily go astray.

edited to change makgraf to beskeptical due to my misreading the quoteI apologize if I misread the statement and for any accusations especially if you do not allow them. I was (am) frustrated to read anti-abortion comments while feeling my hands tied as it seems clearly out of bounds to discuss pro-choice/pro-life issues here.

I agree in retrospect jt-3d's comment was not trolling anyway so my choice of descriptive terms wasn't correct. I didn't even mean trolling as an insult, it wasn't intended as such. It was intended to mean, "I'm upset because that's an anti-abortion statement we can't respond to here."

Jt-3d's response,
I said politicians because IMO DAs are politicians and most politicians are lawyers so I tend to lump them together. Whatever....does not address the anti-abortion intent of his comments. I find it hard to believe as well, that he really meant DA and calls DAs "politicians and lawyers".

Spacewriter
2005-Feb-26, 07:48 PM
I see (and the article makes it clear that he's going after more than the medical histories) the DA's attempt to get all sexual histories of the women he thinks had late-term abortions as invasive. Where does it stop? He's proposing an invasive dig into people's private medical records when he doesn't evidence of a crime, and he wants sexual histories, too. What he's asking for wouldnt' actually stand up under rules of discovery, unless the judge was so lax as to apply the commonly held standards for such rules.

Again, however, this is a chilling act by a man who is NOT interested in solving crimes per se. If he was, he'd stop at the medical records and forget the sexual histories.

beskeptical
2005-Feb-26, 08:07 PM
The records sought include the patient's name, medical history, details of her sex life, birth control practices and psychological profile.Nowhere does it say in the article what information was given to a judge to issue a search warrant. And, if the warrant was issued, wouldn't it be against a doctor or the clinic staff? To just want to search through medical records so you can hunt down teenage girls' sex partners or to see if any late term abortions might not have met "risk to mom" criteria seems to pretty obviously exceed unlawful search and seizure principles. Some people say the most private things to their health care providers. The idea of someone, let alone a DA, going through those records is repulsive.

What is the deal here with the mood of the country, (and I will go back to the 51%, not some vast majority), feeling it is OK to take measures that border on police state actions? Like it or not, our criminal justice system is designed to let some criminals go in order to not infringe on the rights of innocent individuals. You can't have a perfect system that only invades the privacy of criminals. Jt-3d might not have any problem of having his medical records searched, so does he advocate allowing police to search all houses because there are some marijuana growing operations in some of those houses somewhere?

There are doctor patient privileges just as there are attorney client privileges. Would the DA advocate abolishing all attorney client privileges? Maybe that DA should start with the defense attorneys' records?

Jpax2003
2005-Feb-26, 08:16 PM
I'm not debating whether late-term abortions should be criminalized, that's a moral debate that would be inappropriate to have here. But they are. And if laws exist, they should be enforced (or else a culture of disrespect for the law grows). So either the laws should be repealed or they should be enforced. Privacy is violated all the time in criminal investigations.I disagree that all laws should be enforced. There are many laws that many people think are no longer valid or to which there is a contrary opinion in current morality or ethics. There were slave laws that many people broke for moral and ethical reasons before the laws were overturned or nullified. There is old and common law recognized authority of a jury to nullify laws by refusing to return a verdict supported by law but contrary to their sense of morality or ethics. There is the military discipline concept of refusing to obey an illegal order. Whether they are government officials or private citizens, persons always have discretion. The AG could use his discretion to prosecute cases that are violations of statue laws whether they violate his own sense of morality or not, or he could choose not to prosecute and simply ignore the law, perhaps even using privacy as a reason to decline.

You can't always trust a legislature to make good decisions. If they are of such a mind to pass a law then they may be unlikely to repeal it. If it is an old law and it acquires a newly found controversy, they may avoid it for that reason. I am not concerned about people having a culture of disrespect for the law, you could argue that the country was founded on such. We think of ourselves as a country of laws, but we forget that we threw off our previous legal lords. We did it by making legal arguments. The Declaration of Independence is essentially a laundry list of complaints attempting to justify the illegal action. It worked. This privacy issue in Kansas will also be argued with legal dicta, no matter the outcome, someone will claim it was all clean and legal. So no, I disagree that all laws should be obeyed. Strict adherence to the law is a crutch for people unable to think for themselves.

(N.B. I'm not referring to makgraf, just making a general observation.)

Grendl
2005-Feb-26, 08:55 PM
The clinics said Kline demanded their complete, unedited medical records for women who sought abortions at least 22 weeks into their pregnancies in 2003, as well as those for girls 15 and younger who sought abortions. Court papers did not identify the clinics.
How will these 90 women feel if someone comes knocking on their door two years after the fact? Statuatory rapes laws are a really loaded issue, because more often than not the sex is consensual--say a 16 year old with a 19 year old. There was a case in Texas where a minor and a 19 year old broke up, the mother got mad and had the boyfriend arrested, but now years after the initial episode they are back together and have more kids. The mother sorely regretted her reporting her son-in-law to the police, but they put him in jail (that's a hack job of recall, but the gist of it was, the problem was over, but the state didn't want to use common sense in the issue). Their lives were painfully disrupted.

If Kansas wants to go after the clinics for not obeying the law, so be it, they should be satisfied with no names and no sexual histories, penalize the clinics and move forward. But since the women or their parents didn't report a crime, let sleeping dogs lie. The idea of someone asking a now-17 year old, "Who did you have sex with two years ago, we're going to go after that person," (who could have been a boyfriend) just seems so onerous. Can you imagine being one of those women? It could bring up painful memories of something they've put behind them two years ago. Too, if women feel their privacy will be compromised they may take matters into their own hands. I see nothing good coming from getting complete medical files...the whole thing is creepy.

Spacewriter
2005-Feb-26, 09:17 PM
The reason I bring up the Pandora's box aspect is that what if you asked that female who she had sex with and she reported that her father or her brother or her preacher or some other "respected" male had done the deed? Against her will? And it hadn't been reported? Would they then go after the male who did it? Or is this just a way to get at women? You see, it's not clear what this man's motivations are (completely), but the repercussions are awful to consider.

W.F. Tomba
2005-Feb-26, 09:41 PM
I don't see this as a fishing expedition at all. Maybe we're using different definitions here, but from the way I understand the phrase a fishing expedition would be to request all the files at the clinic and then go through them to see if there was anything that they could find. But he's requesting the records of a) late-term abortions and b) underage girls. Now, late term abortions are illegal (except for health of the mother issues) so he's requesting information about specific criminal activities.
By asking for the records of all late-term abortions?
Well yeah, because late-term abortions are illegal. What's your definition of a fishing expedition?
No, unless the article is wrong, not all late-term abortions are illegal in Kansas.

. . . it is illegal in the state for doctors to perform an abortion after 22 weeks unless there is reason to believe it is needed to protect the mother's health.
The AG is seeking records from all women who have had late-term abortions at these clinics just to see whether any of them were illegal.

Edit: Whoops. I see from the part of your post that I quoted that you are aware of "health of the mother issues". But in that case, what you are saying makes no sense to me.

Edited again to fix mistake.

Brady Yoon
2005-Feb-27, 02:47 AM
On the contrary of what others have said, I don't think it's a privacy issue as much as a political one. It involves politics whether you like it or not. Say that this was a murder case. Murder is illegal and wrong, so it would be natural for the attorney general to ask for criminal records and evidence and so forth.

In this case, abortions are illegal (in Kansas). The law has been violated, and it is up to the attorney general to find out if it has. What jt-d3 said seemed to have incited lots of fury, but it does logically make sense.

Whatever it is, it is a political issue and privacy issue. Politics isn't that dirty of a word. Following that line of reasoning, breaches of privacy would have to be upheld, even in dire situations such as finding a murderer, burglar, or thief. If you believe abortion is crime and murder, then it is appropriate to perform a criminal investigation.

It all boils down to this. If you believe abortion (in late stage, or whatever) is murder, then an investigation is justified. If you believe abortion is an inalienable part of women's rights, then you would feel as if it is an invasion of privacy. If murder was committed, the general public wouldn't consider an arrest warrant or investigation wrong. The fact remains though. Minor invasions of privacy are necessary when the situations demand it.

I don't really have a viewpoint on the issue of abortion, I don't side either way on this one. All I'm trying to say is that I think politics does play a part in the opinions expressed in this topic.

Brady Yoon
2005-Feb-27, 02:50 AM
I don't see anything scary about what's happening in Kansas. (Some anti-abortion propaganda, some questioning about evolution... :) ) They're a little right-wing, yes, but nothing that's bringing about the downfall of this nation.

W.F. Tomba
2005-Feb-27, 03:35 AM
It all boils down to this. If you believe abortion (in late stage, or whatever) is murder, then an investigation is justified. If you believe abortion is an inalienable part of women's rights, then you would feel as if it is an invasion of privacy.
Legal actions shouldn't be based on what we believe; they should be based on what the law requires. I really don't think this is an abortion-rights issue at all.

Gillianren
2005-Feb-27, 04:11 AM
if they had probable cause to get a warrant and searched just the part of the medical records regarding the abortion, it wouldn't be a privacy issue. since no one seems clear on the first part, and they specifically say they're getting the whole medical records, it is.

Makgraf
2005-Feb-27, 08:18 AM
Again, however, this is a chilling act by a man who is NOT interested in solving crimes per se. If he was, he'd stop at the medical records and forget the sexual histories.
I think he wants the sexual histories to find the rapists. If it turns out to be a "respected" person then all the better that he's been stopped. Whether trolling through her sexual histories is a good idea seems kinda in the air, but that's the reason why he wants them (why he wants the sexual histories of the late-term abortion women, I have no idea).



I'm not debating whether late-term abortions should be criminalized, that's a moral debate that would be inappropriate to have here. But they are. And if laws exist, they should be enforced (or else a culture of disrespect for the law grows). So either the laws should be repealed or they should be enforced. Privacy is violated all the time in criminal investigations.I disagree that all laws should be enforced. There are many laws that many people think are no longer valid or to which there is a contrary opinion in current morality or ethics. There were slave laws that many people broke for moral and ethical reasons before the laws were overturned or nullified. There is old and common law recognized authority of a jury to nullify laws by refusing to return a verdict supported by law but contrary to their sense of morality or ethics. There is the military discipline concept of refusing to obey an illegal order. Whether they are government officials or private citizens, persons always have discretion. The AG could use his discretion to prosecute cases that are violations of statue laws whether they violate his own sense of morality or not, or he could choose not to prosecute and simply ignore the law, perhaps even using privacy as a reason to decline.

You can't always trust a legislature to make good decisions. If they are of such a mind to pass a law then they may be unlikely to repeal it. If it is an old law and it acquires a newly found controversy, they may avoid it for that reason. I am not concerned about people having a culture of disrespect for the law, you could argue that the country was founded on such. We think of ourselves as a country of laws, but we forget that we threw off our previous legal lords. We did it by making legal arguments. The Declaration of Independence is essentially a laundry list of complaints attempting to justify the illegal action. It worked. This privacy issue in Kansas will also be argued with legal dicta, no matter the outcome, someone will claim it was all clean and legal. So no, I disagree that all laws should be obeyed. Strict adherence to the law is a crutch for people unable to think for themselves.

(N.B. I'm not referring to makgraf, just making a general observation.)
But if the law is bad then the issue here is a bad law, not a privacy issue at all. If the law is bad then something that enforced it without invading privacy would still be bad.

There's an old legal saying that hard cases make bad law. Throwing the slavery issue out there does make a powerful case that nullification is a good thing (another, albeit Goodwin's Lawish, example might have been about the Nazi laws). But these are both extreme cases. Abortion is a very strife-filled issue. So if we say it's okay for someone to nullify a law because of their moral support for abortion rights then it must be equally okay for someone to nullify a law because of their moral support against abortion. As WF Tomba said: "Legal actions shouldn't be based on what we believe; they should be based on what the law requires." Laws are imperfect, but they're the best thing society has to preserve itself against anarchy.






I don't see this as a fishing expedition at all. Maybe we're using different definitions here, but from the way I understand the phrase a fishing expedition would be to request all the files at the clinic and then go through them to see if there was anything that they could find. But he's requesting the records of a) late-term abortions and b) underage girls. Now, late term abortions are illegal (except for health of the mother issues) so he's requesting information about specific criminal activities.
By asking for the records of all late-term abortions?
Well yeah, because late-term abortions are illegal. What's your definition of a fishing expedition?
No, unless the article is wrong, not all late-term abortions are illegal in Kansas.

. . . it is illegal in the state for doctors to perform an abortion after 22 weeks unless there is reason to believe it is needed to protect the mother's health.
The DA is seeking records from all women who have had late-term abortions at these clinics just to see whether any of them were illegal.

Edit: Whoops. I see from the part of your post that I quoted that you are aware of "health of the mother issues". But in that case, what you are saying makes no sense to me.
What's your definition of a fishing expedition? To use a (admittedly very crude example) if the police subpoenaed a list of people who killed people, it wouldn't be a fishing expedition, even though some of those people might have a self-defense claim.

Spacewriter
2005-Feb-27, 04:01 PM
To put it MORE crudely, if the police subpoenaed 100 people the thought might have committed a crime, but they didn't have evidence, they just had a feeling, it would be no less an invasion or a fishing expedition than what this man is doing.

I suspect you'd feel differently if this had a chance of affecting you. It doesn't affect me, but it could in the future if some pigheaded "authority" decided to subpoena all my doctor's records in a wrong-headed fishing expedition looking for something to prosecute.

He might not be looking for me, but what if he decided that he didn't like it that I was on birth control for some years? Would I then be subject to the whims of a nosy, misguided jerk who should have been out chasing the real criminals? Apparently, and I say this guardedly, you might consider such action "Okay" because it might net some convictions.

Spacewriter
2005-Feb-27, 04:07 PM
Let me reiterate in this thread that I'm not after discussions about abortion and the legality of it at any stage. I'm quite concerned about the invasions of privacy this whole situation presents, as well as legal precedents that appear, on the face of it, to be treating (once again) women's privacy and health issues (not to mention issues of sexual history) to be secondary to men's, or to some misguided need to "get convictions."

If you think about this issue for more than a few minutes, the implications are horrible.

R.A.F.
2005-Feb-27, 05:03 PM
Yeah, this whole thing stinks. The A.T. is trying to "get around" privacy laws because he has a personal agenda. He should be ashamed of himself.

Brady Yoon
2005-Feb-27, 05:46 PM
Let me reiterate in this thread that I'm not after discussions about abortion and the legality of it at any stage. I'm quite concerned about the invasions of privacy this whole situation presents, as well as legal precedents that appear, on the face of it, to be treating (once again) women's privacy and health issues (not to mention issues of sexual history) to be secondary to men's, or to some misguided need to "get convictions."

If you think about this issue for more than a few minutes, the implications are horrible.

I don't see that women's privacy is being dismissed as secondary. Aren't women's rights equal to men's now? I'm sure many men have had their sexual histories examined when they were suspected of something as well.

Spacewriter
2005-Feb-27, 06:12 PM
Let me reiterate in this thread that I'm not after discussions about abortion and the legality of it at any stage. I'm quite concerned about the invasions of privacy this whole situation presents, as well as legal precedents that appear, on the face of it, to be treating (once again) women's privacy and health issues (not to mention issues of sexual history) to be secondary to men's, or to some misguided need to "get convictions."

If you think about this issue for more than a few minutes, the implications are horrible.

I don't see that women's privacy is being dismissed as secondary. Aren't women's rights equal to men's now? I'm sure many men have had their sexual histories examined when they were suspected of something as well.

Brady,

THe ultimate effect of this man's attempts to invade private medical histories and demand women's sexual histories is what? To invade their privacy. A woman doesn't have to name who she may have been with, and in many cases may elect not to for various reasons. This has the net result of harassing women for their sexuality and activity, but letting men go scot free. Also, men aren't likely to be going to these clinics, again with the net result that fewer (or no) men are going to have their privacy invaded on a fishing expedition by a misguided A.G.

Gillianren
2005-Feb-27, 10:30 PM
I don't see that women's privacy is being dismissed as secondary. Aren't women's rights equal to men's now? I'm sure many men have had their sexual histories examined when they were suspected of something as well.

as long as it's legal to pay women different amounts than men for the same work--which it is--women's rights aren't equal. as long as Viagra is covered by insurance companies who won't pay for birth control, women's rights aren't equal to men's.

I still haven't seen any evidence that anyone had probable cause in this situation, and again, it does say the women's complete medical history was sought. not just their medical history as it pertained to the abortion. how can that not be an invasion of privacy?

to extend the murder metaphor--okay, say they were going after murders. would jaywalking tickets be relevant? no. it has nothing to do w/the crime at hand. similarly, ignoring any moral or legal implications of abortion, bouts of the flu, for example, has nothing to do w/the abortion--unless it's the underlying cause that endangered the mother's health in pregnancy.

beskeptical
2005-Feb-27, 10:31 PM
After surfing a long discourse (http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2005_02/005725.php) on this topic I pulled a few good points brought up by others. While I am trying to point out the invasion of privacy, there are references to the DA's motives in that, were it merely invading privacy to prosecute criminals he could be taking other actions instead. Since his motives are part of the reason for this particular action rather than the DA using other means of discovery, the abortion issue is mentioned in that respect.
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 harrassing them as much as possible. That's good wedge politics, after all. Investigating thousands of single teenage mothers, on the other hand, isn't.
Well, and he's not asking for the medical records of boys who've been treated for STDs, nor is he looking in the birth records for the names of the fathers of babies born to teens 16 and under. Whose he trying to kid?
I'm with Al on this one. We must protect the children. I think all 14 year old girls - heck, make it 12 year olds - should be subjected to mandatory gynecological checkups to make sure their hymens are intact.

When's a convenient time for the FBI to show up at your door? Or would it be better for them to come to your office to interview you about your sexual history and decide if you're a criminal?
3) Shall we install surveillance cameras surreptitiously in every bedroom and allow AGs open access to all medical records of all children in any physician's office, just in case there are husbands out there sexually abusing their children and it's not being reported because the wife doesn't know and the kids are too young and fearful to report it?

4) For that matter, why is the AG focusing on abortion providers? Why not go after the medical records of all children under the age of 16 (boys too, you know, get abused) in the hands of any physician?



Actually, the point is to prosecute providers under mandatory reporting laws; the AG has explicitly said that providers are the targets of the investigation.
Here's an addendum - Every state has mandatory reporting laws. Here are the ones from Kansas:

WHO MUST REPORT

* Persons licensed to practice the healing arts or dentistry; persons licensed to practice optometry; persons engaged in postgraduate training programs approved by the State Board of Healing Arts; licensed professional or practical nurses examining, attending, or treating a child under the age of 18; chief administrative officers of medical care facilities; emergency medical services personnel;
* Teachers, school administrators, or other employees of a school which the child is attending; persons licensed by the Secretary of Health and Environment to provide child care services or the employees of persons so licensed at the place where the child care services are being provided to the child;
* Licensed psychologists; licensed masters level psychologists; licensed clinical psychotherapists; licensed marriage and family therapists; licensed social workers; licensed clinical marriage and family therapists; licensed professional counselors; licensed clinical professional counselors; registered alcohol and drug abuse counselors;
* Firefighters; mediators appointed under the law; law enforcement officers; juvenile intake and assessment workers.

CIRCUMSTANCES

* When they have reason to suspect that a child has been injured as a result of physical, mental, or emotional abuse or neglect, or sexual abuse;
* When they know of the death of a child.
As a health care provider, I am obligated to report child abuse as well. No one I am aware of would ever consider reporting a teen who showed up for treatment of an STD, birth control, or other sex related issue unless incest were discovered and then you can bet it would be reported by all but a very few ignorant docs.


Someone should mail the article entitled "Projected Economic Costs Due to Health Consequences of Teenagers’ Loss of Confidentiality in Obtaining Reproductive Health Care Services in Texas Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med." 2004;158:1140-1146.

http://archpedi.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/158/12/1140#AUTHINFO

And then there was this post which gives one some insight why no provider reports teen sex activity to CPS or the police. It would be absurd given how common such activity is. Last time I checked, we didn't have the morality police in this country.

Before you get all up in arms about what information clinics may or may not have provided, how about checking out the statistics on how many men/boys have been prosecuted in Kansas for having sex with underage girls based on the BIRTH of a baby. Seriously. I don't know what they are, but would definitely be interested. I'm willing to bet that it's an extremely low number, and that of that, the number prosecuted on the government's own initiative is at or near zero, even though they already have the information on file regarding the age of the mother, at least a possible father's name, and a baby to obtain a DNA sample from if the named father denies responsibility.

I say this because in my own state of SC, in 2000 (last year of available stats) there were 10,732 pregnancies for girls aged 10-19 (sorry, finer breakdown on age groups). This is a considerably higher teen pregnancy rate than the overall US rate of 21.3/1000. And of those 10,732 pregnancies, 8,565 (or 79.8%) resulted in live births, 2,060 (or 19.1%) ended in abortions, and there were 107 fetal deaths. So when somebody can show me that they're going after the 80% that it's easy to get information on, and succeeding, then maybe, maybe, MAYBE I'm willing to look that the idea of opening up private medical files on a limited basis. Not before.

For Brady and those others who think it is no big deal to lessen the confidentiality of medical records, think about how you would seek treatment for anything sensitive or embarrassing if you thought anything you told your health care provider was subject to being read by all sorts of other people. It is already hard enough to maintain confidentiality when insurance claims workers review the charts for reimbursement payments. That's what the HIPPA laws are all about, (though I see them doing nothing except adding paperwork, separate issue.)

This same principle is the basis for priest, pastor, rabbi, etc/layperson confidentiality, for attorney/client privilege, and for news reporters protecting their sources including serving jail time rather than give up sources. Do we want to lose the benefits having such privacy gives us as a society? Not to mention the encroachment on our personal freedoms if we are subject to invasions of privacy that go beyond what has been allowed so far.

The criminal justice system has gotten along fine without searching medical records of groups of people to determine if crimes have been committed and/or reported. (There is an exception of looking at medical records of deaths in hospitals where serial killings are suspected. Those cases are very specific, looking only at patients an identified suspect took direct care of or had direct access to.)

And, while not discussing abortions per se, do we want prosecutors perverting some loophole in the law to achieve their personal agendas no matter how you feel about the agenda yourself? Prosecutors do have leeway in which laws they choose to prosecute. Police do as well in that they don't arrest or cite every single person they have evidence against. But it is obvious there is some line here in that this particular DA does not have public consensus (consensus is not the same as majority) backing his particular agenda.

Remember, if you want prosecutors to have such powers then you'll be allowing them when you do not agree with their agendas as well. You might get some guy who wants to search everyone's computers to see if you've been on any web sites that single DA has decided is porn. You could be prosecuted and a judge finds your site visit wasn't to an illegal porn site but the DA doesn't care because he has made your porn visit public and that's a deterrent to others who don't want their computer site visits public. This isn't so far fetched given the Patriot Act allows library records to be searched and that includes Internet use at the library.



BTW, for some additional actions that have occurred in the invasion of privacy realm in the US and Canada try this site. (http://www.privacy.org/archives/2005_02.html)

Musashi
2005-Feb-27, 10:45 PM
as long as it's legal to pay women different amounts than men for the same work--which it is--women's rights aren't equal. as long as Viagra is covered by insurance companies who won't pay for birth control, women's rights aren't equal to men's.

Whta about the fact that it is legal to pay men different amounts than other men for the same work?

Spacewriter
2005-Feb-28, 01:25 AM
as long as it's legal to pay women different amounts than men for the same work--which it is--women's rights aren't equal. as long as Viagra is covered by insurance companies who won't pay for birth control, women's rights aren't equal to men's.

Whta about the fact that it is legal to pay men different amounts than other men for the same work?

I'd say that's a fine topic for a different thread.

Makgraf
2005-Feb-28, 01:34 AM
One interesting factoid I'm surprised no one has brought up is that the man who owns one of the clinics involved donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the man running against the AG. That could probably help explain some of the motivation.


To put it MORE crudely, if the police subpoenaed 100 people the thought might have committed a crime, but they didn't have evidence, they just had a feeling, it would be no less an invasion or a fishing expedition than what this man is doing.
Yes, if the police subpoenaed 100 people that they just thought might have committed a crime that would indeed be a fishing expedition =D>. The equivelent to your metaphor is if the AG had subpoenaed all the files at the abortion clinic and went through them to check. But that's not what happened here (as already explained).


I suspect you'd feel differently if this had a chance of affecting you. It doesn't affect me, but it could in the future if some pigheaded "authority" decided to subpoena all my doctor's records in a wrong-headed fishing expedition looking for something to prosecute.

He might not be looking for me, but what if he decided that he didn't like it that I was on birth control for some years? Would I then be subject to the whims of a nosy, misguided jerk who should have been out chasing the real criminals? Apparently, and I say this guardedly, you might consider such action "Okay" because it might net some convictions.
How do you know that this has no chance of affecting me? For all you know I could be a 15 year old Kansas girl who had a late-term abortion (I'm not, btw).

I also wouldn't consider it okay for him to go after you because of the birth control (I assume you mean that you were on birth control when you were under 16). First, a girl being on birth control does not mean that she's had sex (while I'd assume that most abortions do imply that). Second, there are reasons completely unrelated to sex that someone might need a birth control pill (for regulating periods and such). So it really would be a fishing expedition in that case.



Well, and he's not asking for the medical records of boys who've been treated for STDs, nor is he looking in the birth records for the names of the fathers of babies born to teens 16 and under. Whose he trying to kid?
It's a good question. Remember though, that the person being prosecuted here isn't going to be the victim. Someone mentioned double standards on this thread and there's an double standard about male victims of sexual assault. Often this is seen as a "Mrs Robinson" type deal and nowhere as serious as sexual assault on girls. Do we know for certain that he's not going to be doing either of these two things?



I say this because in my own state of SC, in 2000 (last year of available stats) there were 10,732 pregnancies for girls aged 10-19 (sorry, finer breakdown on age groups). This is a considerably higher teen pregnancy rate than the overall US rate of 21.3/1000. And of those 10,732 pregnancies, 8,565 (or 79.8%) resulted in live births, 2,060 (or 19.1%) ended in abortions, and there were 107 fetal deaths. So when somebody can show me that they're going after the 80% that it's easy to get information on, and succeeding, then maybe, maybe, MAYBE I'm willing to look that the idea of opening up private medical files on a limited basis. Not before.
These stats don't mean anything though because they include the 17-19 non-statutory rape births, which I'd assume would be a good chunk of them. So we have no idea if the 80% would hold for the 10-16 bracket.


This isn't so far fetched given the Patriot Act allows library records to be searched and that includes Internet use at the library.
This provision has never been used.

Jpax2003
2005-Feb-28, 02:20 AM
I think he wants the sexual histories to find the rapists. If it turns out to be a "respected" person then all the better that he's been stopped. Whether trolling through her sexual histories is a good idea seems kinda in the air, but that's the reason why he wants them (why he wants the sexual histories of the late-term abortion women, I have no idea).Why is it better that we stop a respected person from comitting a crime? That could be taken to mean that we should prefer to prosecute some cases and not others based on the status of the defendant. A crime is a crime and a rape is a rape and they should be prosecuted no matter the respectibility of the defendant.


But if the law is bad then the issue here is a bad law, not a privacy issue at all. If the law is bad then something that enforced it without invading privacy would still be bad.I disagree, or perhaps you misunderstood. The issue of privacy is independent of the goodness or badness of the law in question. Example: you may disagree with the criminality of statutory rape (bad law); you may agree with the criminality of violent rape; however, the method of obtaining evidence from medical records could be a violation of privacy in both cases.


There's an old legal saying that hard cases make bad law. Throwing the slavery issue out there does make a powerful case that nullification is a good thing (another, albeit Goodwin's Lawish, example might have been about the Nazi laws). But these are both extreme cases. Abortion is a very strife-filled issue. So if we say it's okay for someone to nullify a law because of their moral support for abortion rights then it must be equally okay for someone to nullify a law because of their moral support against abortion. As WF Tomba said: "Legal actions shouldn't be based on what we believe; they should be based on what the law requires." Laws are imperfect, but they're the best thing society has to preserve itself against anarchy.However, laws are made by people based on what they believe (not always, but we pretend it's true). Most people don't obey laws because of the law, but because of the possible punishment (or reward). Law Enforcement is no different, they only arrest people when they feel they need or want to do such. Example: The law may require an officer to ticket everyone speeding over 55mph; but the officer only chooses to ticket someone speeding over 75; the officer used discretion and not only ignored the law, but nullified its 55mph limit and replaced it with a 75mph limit.

BTW, I'm not so sure that laws protect society from anarchy. Look around... is the legislation of more laws creating more or less anarchy? Or forget anecdote and consider it mathematically: If more activities performed by persons are made illegal, then the performers of those activities suddenly become violators. If anarchy means not ruled by law, and a violation of law indicates a person moves from the side of society to the side of anarchy, then attempts to create laws cause a proportional response in the level of anarchy. Or in simpler terms: When guns are outlawed, only owtlaws will have guns. Ironically, most people think that statement is a gun-nut's mantra when it's really only an expression of a mathematical fact.

beskeptical
2005-Feb-28, 05:16 AM
One interesting factoid I'm surprised no one has brought up is that the man who owns one of the clinics involved donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the man running against the AG. That could probably help explain some of the motivation.Are you saying the AG is angry so he's investigating the clinic or are you saying the owner of the clinic is making the AG's investigation public because the owner wants to help the other candidate?

If the investigation came first, the owner of the clinic, (and I'm not sure where you got that information because I thought it was a planned parenthood clinic which to my knowledge are not individually owned and are definitely non-profit), could certainly have been so outraged by this guy he went out and donated to the guy running against the AG or even went out and found someone to run against the AG.



To put it MORE crudely, if the police subpoenaed 100 people the thought might have committed a crime, but they didn't have evidence, they just had a feeling, it would be no less an invasion or a fishing expedition than what this man is doing.
Yes, if the police subpoenaed 100 people that they just thought might have committed a crime that would indeed be a fishing expedition =D>. The equivelent to your metaphor is if the AG had subpoenaed all the files at the abortion clinic and went through them to check. But that's not what happened here (as already explained).And just what crime is this AG investigating? Failure of the clinic to report child abuse and/or statutory rape? The possibility some late term abortions didn't meet the AG's standard?

And these crimes are to be uncovered by invading the privacy of all the women who had legitimate late term abortions? Well let's just investigate all the patients of some chronic pain clinic. After all, some of the patients might have gotten narcotics for criteria the AG doesn't approve of. For that matter, let's investigate all the antibiotic prescriptions written in the last 5 years. The doctors could easily be prescribing drugs that aren't recommended just because the patient asks for them.

There seems to be willful ignoring here of the fact medical practice decisions have never been criminalized because of clinical decisions. Does anyone here want the AG deciding if your doctor made the correct diagnosis and treatment plan? I can guarantee you many medical providers who don't provide abortions will be fleeing Kansas if you want to criminalize their medical decisions.

And the failure to report supposed child abuse only involves pregnancies that were aborted? Well how about STDs and how about boys with STDs?



I suspect you'd feel differently if this had a chance of affecting you. It doesn't affect me, but it could in the future if some pigheaded "authority" decided to subpoena all my doctor's records in a wrong-headed fishing expedition looking for something to prosecute.

He might not be looking for me, but what if he decided that he didn't like it that I was on birth control for some years? Would I then be subject to the whims of a nosy, misguided jerk who should have been out chasing the real criminals? Apparently, and I say this guardedly, you might consider such action "Okay" because it might net some convictions.
How do you know that this has no chance of affecting me? For all you know I could be a 15 year old Kansas girl who had a late-term abortion (I'm not, btw).

I also wouldn't consider it okay for him to go after you because of the birth control (I assume you mean that you were on birth control when you were under 16). First, a girl being on birth control does not mean that she's had sex (while I'd assume that most abortions do imply that). Second, there are reasons completely unrelated to sex that someone might need a birth control pill (for regulating periods and such). So it really would be a fishing expedition in that case.No one prescribes BC pills to regulate anyone's periods. That practice hasn't been done in 30 years. There is some marketing of the pills for acne but I doubt many providers would write a prescription for acne treatment alone. So if this AG finds that pill Rx should he follow by ordering an exam of an underage girl? After all, he'd have cause according to your thinking now that we've corrected your misconception about why pills are prescribed.




Well, and he's not asking for the medical records of boys who've been treated for STDs, nor is he looking in the birth records for the names of the fathers of babies born to teens 16 and under. Whose he trying to kid?It's a good question. Remember though, that the person being prosecuted here isn't going to be the victim. Someone mentioned double standards on this thread and there's an double standard about male victims of sexual assault. Often this is seen as a "Mrs Robinson" type deal and nowhere as serious as sexual assault on girls. Do we know for certain that he's not going to be doing either of these two things?Oh, so it's OK to have the double standard because of popular opinion? But what does the law say about underage boys? And, yes, I think it has been clearly established this AG is motivated by his personal abortion agenda. I ask you to show us the evidence he isn't on a personal witch hunt.




I say this because in my own state of SC, in 2000 (last year of available stats) there were 10,732 pregnancies for girls aged 10-19 (sorry, finer breakdown on age groups). This is a considerably higher teen pregnancy rate than the overall US rate of 21.3/1000. And of those 10,732 pregnancies, 8,565 (or 79.8%) resulted in live births, 2,060 (or 19.1%) ended in abortions, and there were 107 fetal deaths. So when somebody can show me that they're going after the 80% that it's easy to get information on, and succeeding, then maybe, maybe, MAYBE I'm willing to look that the idea of opening up private medical files on a limited basis. Not before.
These stats don't mean anything though because they include the 17-19 non-statutory rape births, which I'd assume would be a good chunk of them. So we have no idea if the 80% would hold for the 10-16 bracket. Yes we do. We know it's a big enough number your argument discounting the data is a straw man.

And BTW, no one prescribes BC pills to regulate anyone's periods. That practice hasn't been done in 30 years. There is some marketing of the pills for acne but I doubt many providers would write a prescription for acne treatment alone.

This isn't so far fetched given the Patriot Act allows library records to be searched and that includes Internet use at the library.
This provision has never been used.Oh really? And since it is done without disclosure how would you know? Ashcroft said they haven't as of Sept of 03 but that was a year and 1/2 ago and they also don't need to tell anyone they are or have done it.

Makgraf, what is your position here in a nutshell? This AG had some specific evidence of a crime and is investigating specific crimes? And what do you suppose that evidence might be? It seems pretty broad looking at abortion records and teenage girl's sexual histories. Given there have been other attempts to obtain 'all' late term abortion records of hospitals I'd say this tactic is not this AG's original idea. And I'd say it's pretty obvious what is going on here. You can pretend that isn't the motive and claim it's all some legal investigation but where is your evidence this guy isn't on an anti-abortion crusade?

papageno
2005-Feb-28, 01:01 PM
I don't see this as a fishing expedition at all. Maybe we're using different definitions here, but from the way I understand the phrase a fishing expedition would be to request all the files at the clinic and then go through them to see if there was anything that they could find. But he's requesting the records of a) late-term abortions and b) underage girls. Now, late term abortions are illegal (except for health of the mother issues) so he's requesting information about specific criminal activities.
By asking for the records of all late-term abortions?
Well yeah, because late-term abortions are illegal. What's your definition of a fishing expedition?
As far as I understand, not all late-term abortions are illegal. There are exceptions.
Does the DA have reason to believe that all late-term abortions performed were not such exceptions?
If late-term abortions were always illegal, why would the clinic do them or keep records of them?







The second one seems kinda sketchy, in this case the crime in question was committed against the person having the abortion (i.e. having sex with an under 16 year old girl is rape). So presumably in this case the object of the AG is to prosecute the rapists by getting information that a crime was committed and then going through details of her sex life to find the rapist. This does seem to fit the defintion given above for a fishing expedition.
If they ask for all under-age abortions it is fishing; if they ask for all late-term abortions it is not.
Why this distinction?
In the first case they're zeroing in on the crime (have a late-term abortion, get a suponea).
Aren't there exceptions for late-term abortions?



But in the second case they're going to troll through the girl's medical records in an attempt to find something. I guess another way to put in is that they know exactly what they want in the first case. But they have no idea about the identity of the rapist in the second case, or if there even was a rapist. I was also talking about the sketchiness of this action because of the possibility of damages to the girl if it leaks (which Spacewriter covers in more detail)




It seems though that if these clinics have had at least 90 instances where they committed infantacide (by killing a fetus that was viable outside the womb) or helped faciliate the rape of children by not informing police that a crime has been committed (like if a hospital didn't inform police about a string of gunshot victims they had) then it seems that someone should be investigating them.
By asking for all and only under-age and late-term abortion records?
Exactly. Is there something I'm missing here.
The point is that they ask for all and only under-age and late-term abortions.
If they have suspicions about specific cases, why do they need all those records?

R.A.F.
2005-Feb-28, 01:21 PM
If they have suspicions about specific cases, why do they need all those records?

Well, cast a bigger net and...wait a minute, did I just make a fishing analogy? :)

Makgraf
2005-Mar-01, 03:12 AM
One interesting factoid I'm surprised no one has brought up is that the man who owns one of the clinics involved donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the man running against the AG. That could probably help explain some of the motivation.Are you saying the AG is angry so he's investigating the clinic or are you saying the owner of the clinic is making the AG's investigation public because the owner wants to help the other candidate?

If the investigation came first, the owner of the clinic, (and I'm not sure where you got that information because I thought it was a planned parenthood clinic which to my knowledge are not individually owned and are definitely non-profit), could certainly have been so outraged by this guy he went out and donated to the guy running against the AG or even went out and found someone to run against the AG.
I got the information from the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/25/national/25kansas.html?):

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.
So this could be a (pretty sleazy) attempt at political retribution.




To put it MORE crudely, if the police subpoenaed 100 people the thought might have committed a crime, but they didn't have evidence, they just had a feeling, it would be no less an invasion or a fishing expedition than what this man is doing.
Yes, if the police subpoenaed 100 people that they just thought might have committed a crime that would indeed be a fishing expedition =D>. The equivelent to your metaphor is if the AG had subpoenaed all the files at the abortion clinic and went through them to check. But that's not what happened here (as already explained).And just what crime is this AG investigating? Failure of the clinic to report child abuse and/or statutory rape? The possibility some late term abortions didn't meet the AG's standard?
Yes. Except for I'd go with "Kansas law" rather than "AG's standard".


And these crimes are to be uncovered by invading the privacy of all the women who had legitimate late term abortions? Well let's just investigate all the patients of some chronic pain clinic. After all, some of the patients might have gotten narcotics for criteria the AG doesn't approve of. For that matter, let's investigate all the antibiotic prescriptions written in the last 5 years. The doctors could easily be prescribing drugs that aren't recommended just because the patient asks for them.
Again this metaphor isn't accurate. One that would work is if the government were supoening records of all marijuana prescribed by the clinic (assuming it's allowed to). And in that case, yes the government should be able to do so.


There seems to be willful ignoring here of the fact medical practice decisions have never been criminalized because of clinical decisions. Does anyone here want the AG deciding if your doctor made the correct diagnosis and treatment plan? I can guarantee you many medical providers who don't provide abortions will be fleeing Kansas if you want to criminalize their medical decisions.
Never? What about Dr. Kevorkian? It's also a red herring in the case of the under 16's, because what was at fault there was failure to report.


And the failure to report supposed child abuse only involves pregnancies that were aborted? Well how about STDs and how about boys with STDs?
If a 12 year old boy comes in who has gotten gonnorhea, then I think the police should be informed, just the same as if he was beaten. If they weren't, then yes, I think the government should subpoena the records.




I suspect you'd feel differently if this had a chance of affecting you. It doesn't affect me, but it could in the future if some pigheaded "authority" decided to subpoena all my doctor's records in a wrong-headed fishing expedition looking for something to prosecute.

He might not be looking for me, but what if he decided that he didn't like it that I was on birth control for some years? Would I then be subject to the whims of a nosy, misguided jerk who should have been out chasing the real criminals? Apparently, and I say this guardedly, you might consider such action "Okay" because it might net some convictions.
How do you know that this has no chance of affecting me? For all you know I could be a 15 year old Kansas girl who had a late-term abortion (I'm not, btw).

I also wouldn't consider it okay for him to go after you because of the birth control (I assume you mean that you were on birth control when you were under 16). First, a girl being on birth control does not mean that she's had sex (while I'd assume that most abortions do imply that). Second, there are reasons completely unrelated to sex that someone might need a birth control pill (for regulating periods and such). So it really would be a fishing expedition in that case.No one prescribes BC pills to regulate anyone's periods. That practice hasn't been done in 30 years. There is some marketing of the pills for acne but I doubt many providers would write a prescription for acne treatment alone. So if this AG finds that pill Rx should he follow by ordering an exam of an underage girl? After all, he'd have cause according to your thinking now that we've corrected your misconception about why pills are prescribed.
This is evidentally such a good point that you, for all extents and purposes, repeat it again later:

And BTW, no one prescribes BC pills to regulate anyone's periods. That practice hasn't been done in 30 years. There is some marketing of the pills for acne but I doubt many providers would write a prescription for acne treatment alone.
So I am an idiot? Do I have misconceptions (BTW, congrats on another pun)? Well here's the thing, I know people who are on the birth control pill to regulate their period. Of course they could be lying and I'm not an expert in medicine after all. My mother, however, is. I asked her if there were any other uses for the birth control pill and she told me it could be used to "regulate the menstrual cycle, to treat bad cramps, if someone has really heavy periods, for acne, even to regulate mood, if someone gets really depressed before their period". In fact, she prescribed it today to someone for a non-birth control related reason. So I think my analogy holds.





Well, and he's not asking for the medical records of boys who've been treated for STDs, nor is he looking in the birth records for the names of the fathers of babies born to teens 16 and under. Whose he trying to kid?It's a good question. Remember though, that the person being prosecuted here isn't going to be the victim. Someone mentioned double standards on this thread and there's an double standard about male victims of sexual assault. Often this is seen as a "Mrs Robinson" type deal and nowhere as serious as sexual assault on girls. Do we know for certain that he's not going to be doing either of these two things?Oh, so it's OK to have the double standard because of popular opinion? But what does the law say about underage boys? And, yes, I think it has been clearly established this AG is motivated by his personal abortion agenda. I ask you to show us the evidence he isn't on a personal witch hunt.
Oh I was just saying why he might want to concentrate on prosecuting rapists of underage girls as opposed to boys. As far as whether they should check into STDs amongst underage boys I already answered that question. I don't think it's been established, let alone "clearly established", that this guy is being motivated from a "personal [anti-]abortion agenda". Brady, jt-3d and I have postulated various other reasons from upholding Kansas law to personal revenge. I mean he could be on a personal witch hunt. I've never met the guy nor have I read his mind so I really have no idea what goes on in there.





I say this because in my own state of SC, in 2000 (last year of available stats) there were 10,732 pregnancies for girls aged 10-19 (sorry, finer breakdown on age groups). This is a considerably higher teen pregnancy rate than the overall US rate of 21.3/1000. And of those 10,732 pregnancies, 8,565 (or 79.8%) resulted in live births, 2,060 (or 19.1%) ended in abortions, and there were 107 fetal deaths. So when somebody can show me that they're going after the 80% that it's easy to get information on, and succeeding, then maybe, maybe, MAYBE I'm willing to look that the idea of opening up private medical files on a limited basis. Not before.
These stats don't mean anything though because they include the 17-19 non-statutory rape births, which I'd assume would be a good chunk of them. So we have no idea if the 80% would hold for the 10-16 bracket. Yes we do. We know it's a big enough number your argument discounting the data is a straw man.
How is a "straw man"? Again we may be running into definition problems here but I always thought a "straw man argument" was mischacterizing your opponant's argument and then demolishing this straw man you've constructed ("Well maybe you're in favour in child abuse, but that's bad for the children!"). I'm just pointing out that these stats don't really mean anything and only serve to tart up an argument with mathmatical psuedo-certainity. Now the National Campaign To End Teen Pregnancy has a chart (http://www.teenpregnancy.org/america/stateSummary.asp?stateId=43) about the number of teen births in South Carolina:

Number of Teen Births by Age, 2002 [in South Carolina]
Girls Under 15: 19 (0%)

Girls 15-17: 2,384 (32%)

Girls 18-19: 4,943 (67%)

Total 7,346 100%
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2004). 2002 natality data set [CD-ROM]. CD-ROM Series, 21(16).
I have no idea how reliable the NCTETP is (or if that is indeed their acronym) but I think the the HHS Department should know what they're talking about. Because the number of births is clustered in the legal ages, we have no way of knowing if they're skewing the % of abortions down. Well actually, we do because the south carolina branch (www.teenpregnancysc.org/pdf/2004_Fact_Sheet.pdf) of that organization compiled the data and turns out that abortion rate is 20% ± 2.5% in both cases (thought the abortion rate is lower in the legal section).




This isn't so far fetched given the Patriot Act allows library records to be searched and that includes Internet use at the library.
This provision has never been used.Oh really? And since it is done without disclosure how would you know? Ashcroft said they haven't as of Sept of 03 but that was a year and 1/2 ago and they also don't need to tell anyone they are or have done it.
Well given that the burden of proof is apperently on me to find out what's in the Kansas AG's heart, I think it should be child's play in comparison to find out what the Federal AG's done. Also the government has to report to congress on how it's using section 215.


Makgraf, what is your position here in a nutshell? This AG had some specific evidence of a crime and is investigating specific crimes? And what do you suppose that evidence might be? It seems pretty broad looking at abortion records and teenage girl's sexual histories. Given there have been other attempts to obtain 'all' late term abortion records of hospitals I'd say this tactic is not this AG's original idea. And I'd say it's pretty obvious what is going on here. You can pretend that isn't the motive and claim it's all some legal investigation but where is your evidence this guy isn't on an anti-abortion crusade?
I'm not "pretending" anything about this guy's motives. I honestly don't know what they are. What I'm trying to show is that there are other motives that are possible. My position in a nutshell is that in the investigation of crimes, privacy gets sacrificed (for example, you support DNA registries). In these particular case, with the evidence we have, it seems that this could be the case of a man trying to uphold the law.

Makgraf
2005-Mar-01, 03:29 AM
Whew... there's still 2 more posts I have to respond to :o . I guess I'll do that tommorrow because I have a lot of reading to do tonight.

Jpax2003
2005-Mar-01, 03:41 AM
Whew... there's still 2 more posts I have to respond to :o . I guess I'll do that tommorrow because I have a lot of reading to do tonight. Naw, you could just admit I'm right and that you agree. :D

beskeptical
2005-Mar-01, 10:21 AM
I got the information from the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/25/national/25kansas.html?):

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.
So this could be a (pretty sleazy) attempt at political retribution. I could buy this as a motive if the records sought weren't so abortion related. A better guess would be the Dr knew this AG had an anti-abortion agenda to begin with and that's why the Dr donated to the opponent's campaign.



And just what crime is this AG investigating? Failure of the clinic to report child abuse and/or statutory rape? The possibility some late term abortions didn't meet the AG's standard?
Yes. Except for I'd go with "Kansas law" rather than "AG's standard". And how many other clinics that don't perform abortions is the AG investigating for violations of the failure to report child abuse? And how many cases of failure to report child abuse is the AG investigating that don't involve either sexually active girls or abortions? Once again, why not look at underage boys treated for STDs or the birth records which list age of the mother? Who cares what the AG thinks of boys who have underage sex. You say it is the law the AG is following, not his personal agenda.



And these crimes are to be uncovered by invading the privacy of all the women who had legitimate late term abortions? Well let's just investigate all the patients of some chronic pain clinic. After all, some of the patients might have gotten narcotics for criteria the AG doesn't approve of. For that matter, let's investigate all the antibiotic prescriptions written in the last 5 years. The doctors could easily be prescribing drugs that aren't recommended just because the patient asks for them.Again this metaphor isn't accurate. One that would work is if the government were supoening records of all marijuana prescribed by the clinic (assuming it's allowed to). And in that case, yes the government should be able to do so.How is your metaphor not a fishing expedition? Why are my metaphors not relevant? I don't buy your position here and I doubt everyone else agrees with your interpretation as well. Perhaps we should see what others have to say.



There seems to be willful ignoring here of the fact medical practice decisions have never been criminalized because of clinical decisions. Does anyone here want the AG deciding if your doctor made the correct diagnosis and treatment plan? I can guarantee you many medical providers who don't provide abortions will be fleeing Kansas if you want to criminalize their medical decisions.Never? What about Dr. Kevorkian? It's also a red herring in the case of the under 16's, because what was at fault there was failure to report. I listed the exception of the serial murderer. Kervorkian, another exception, made a public issue of his beliefs and challenged authorities to address his position. I see no evidence the clinic practitioners made some public statement they are going to perform any abortion anyone requested regardless of fetal age.

Now I have to get into the abortion issue but only as it relates to the supposed crimes committed that the AG supposedly is investigating. I think that a lot of non-providers are indeed misled by the anti-abortion rhetoric that "partial birth abortions" are not only occurring regularly but that providers are out there squishing fetal heads at the request of any person wishing an abortion. In reality, that is just not the case at all.

So now let's try to stay away from that discussion and get back to how it relates to the supposed crimes being investigated. Health care providers make clinical judgments all the time. They would naturally consider the mother and the fetus. They don't have some callous moral position that the mother is the only patient there. So when a late term abortion is requested because a pregnant woman put off coming in until it is late in a pregnancy, no provider is going to perform that abortion if the baby is going to be born alive and be very likely to survive. That provider would instead council that mother that it was too late. If it were a borderline case and the fetus was not going to survive easily a provider might go ahead but it would be based on a judgment call, not based on some pro-abortion stance.

What you are suggesting is not that the AG is investigating a crime, but that the AG is investigating a judgment call that provider made. We could go around and around on this so I am not going to repeat this point again.

I am a provider. While I work in infectious disease and not women's health, I do know full well what the situation is here. I don't see that you understand what my point is about day to day clinical judgment becoming something some AG or DA can decide is a criminal offense. I would leave Kansas or where ever if that were the case in my practice and I can say so would most other providers if they felt the same standard could be applied to them.

Think about it. If a surgeon amputates the wrong limb, is it criminal? If an assailant cut off a leg it certainly would be. What if the surgeon amputates a leg and it turns out it wasn't necessary? The Dr made a bad judgment call resulting in the equivalent of an assault on the patient/victim. If abortion was flat out illegal after x months gestation, you might have a more clear legal case. But that isn't the law, the law allows the practitioner to make a clinical judgment about the situation.

The way I see it, this AG would prefer no provider ever decided to perform a late term abortion and he is going to personally judge these practitioners' clinical judgment calls.



And the failure to report supposed child abuse only involves pregnancies that were aborted? Well how about STDs and how about boys with STDs?If a 12 year old boy comes in who has gotten gonnorhea, then I think the police should be informed, just the same as if he was beaten. If they weren't, then yes, I think the government should subpoena the records. Well guess what? In my clinical judgment I would also report such a case. Surprise surprise, so would almost any provider, and certainly it would be the standard to report such a case. Once again, there is a distorted perception by many members of the public about just what providers are actually doing. A 12 year old girl with GC would get reported as well.



And BTW, no one prescribes BC pills to regulate anyone's periods. That practice hasn't been done in 30 years. There is some marketing of the pills for acne but I doubt many providers would write a prescription for acne treatment alone.
So I am an idiot? Do I have misconceptions (BTW, congrats on another pun)? Well here's the thing, I know people who are on the birth control pill to regulate their period. Of course they could be lying and I'm not an expert in medicine after all. My mother, however, is. I asked her if there were any other uses for the birth control pill and she told me it could be used to "regulate the menstrual cycle, to treat bad cramps, if someone has really heavy periods, for acne, even to regulate mood, if someone gets really depressed before their period". In fact, she prescribed it today to someone for a non-birth control related reason. So I think my analogy holds.To my knowledge it is no longer considered acceptable medical practice. I can't and won't speak for anyone else's clinical judgment.


I was just saying why he might want to concentrate on prosecuting rapists of underage girls as opposed to boys. As far as whether they should check into STDs amongst underage boys I already answered that question. I don't think it's been established, let alone "clearly established", that this guy is being motivated from a "personal [anti-]abortion agenda". Brady, jt-3d and I have postulated various other reasons from upholding Kansas law to personal revenge. I mean he could be on a personal witch hunt. I've never met the guy nor have I read his mind so I really have no idea what goes on in there.Well I see an elephant in the room and no 'postulated reasons' supported by any evidence. Again, no since repeating ourselves.






I say this because in my own state of SC, in 2000 (last year of available stats) there were 10,732 pregnancies for girls aged 10-19 (sorry, finer breakdown on age groups). This is a considerably higher teen pregnancy rate than the overall US rate of 21.3/1000. And of those 10,732 pregnancies, 8,565 (or 79.8%) resulted in live births, 2,060 (or 19.1%) ended in abortions, and there were 107 fetal deaths. So when somebody can show me that they're going after the 80% that it's easy to get information on, and succeeding, then maybe, maybe, MAYBE I'm willing to look that the idea of opening up private medical files on a limited basis. Not before.These stats don't mean anything though because they include the 17-19 non-statutory rape births, which I'd assume would be a good chunk of them. So we have no idea if the 80% would hold for the 10-16 bracket. Yes we do. We know it's a big enough number your argument discounting the data is a straw man.How is a "straw man"? Again we may be running into definition problems here but I always thought a "straw man argument" was mischacterizing your opponant's argument and then demolishing this straw man you've constructed ("Well maybe you're in favour in child abuse, but that's bad for the children!"). I'm just pointing out that these stats don't really mean anything and only serve to tart up an argument with mathmatical psuedo-certainity. Now the National Campaign To End Teen Pregnancy has a chart (http://www.teenpregnancy.org/america/stateSummary.asp?stateId=43) about the number of teen births in South Carolina:

Number of Teen Births by Age, 2002 [in South Carolina]
Girls Under 15: 19 (0%)

Girls 15-17: 2,384 (32%)

Girls 18-19: 4,943 (67%)

Total 7,346 100%
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2004). 2002 natality data set [CD-ROM]. CD-ROM Series, 21(16).
I have no idea how reliable the NCTETP is (or if that is indeed their acronym) but I think the the HHS Department should know what they're talking about. Because the number of births is clustered in the legal ages, we have no way of knowing if they're skewing the % of abortions down. Well actually, we do because the south carolina branch (www.teenpregnancysc.org/pdf/2004_Fact_Sheet.pdf) of that organization compiled the data and turns out that abortion rate is 20% ± 2.5% in both cases (thought the abortion rate is lower in the legal section).The point was, one could get the information on which 'boyfriends' to hunt down and prosecute for statutory rape from either the live birth records or the clinic records. And the live birth records would include 80% of the cases. Plus, it would include pregnant girls seen by all providers not just the providers who also performed abortions.

You claimed the numbers were not relevant without being broken down by age. But you didn't address the question of why not look at birth records. Then your own data said the 20% abortion rate did hold for the under 15 kids. And you still don't address why not get the information from a readily available public source instead of confidential clinical records? And why single out these providers as if they are the only clinic in the state that sees pregnant teens.


Just an FYI on the numbers:

19 seems to be a pretty low total for girls under age 15 that had live births in any state in the US in any year, but I have to assume it is correct.

Here is different data that includes a denominator. It isn't broken down by state, but these rates are per 1,000 kids age 10 years to 14 years. To extrapolate from this data, it implies there are only 0.7 x 19 x 1,000 = 13,300 kids aged 10-14 in SC. Seems a bit low but I don't know the total population of the state.


Live births per 1,000 children aged 10 to 14 years old in the USA by year. (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus04trend.pdf#003)

1950 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.0
1960 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.8
1970 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.2
1980 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.1
1985 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.2
1990 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.4
1995 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.3
1998 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.0
1999 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.9
2000 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.9
2001 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.8
2002 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.7



Makgraf, what is your position here in a nutshell? This AG had some specific evidence of a crime and is investigating specific crimes? And what do you suppose that evidence might be? It seems pretty broad looking at abortion records and teenage girl's sexual histories. Given there have been other attempts to obtain 'all' late term abortion records of hospitals I'd say this tactic is not this AG's original idea. And I'd say it's pretty obvious what is going on here. You can pretend that isn't the motive and claim it's all some legal investigation but where is your evidence this guy isn't on an anti-abortion crusade?
I'm not "pretending" anything about this guy's motives. I honestly don't know what they are. What I'm trying to show is that there are other motives that are possible. My position in a nutshell is that in the investigation of crimes, privacy gets sacrificed (for example, you support DNA registries). In these particular case, with the evidence we have, it seems that this could be the case of a man trying to uphold the law.There is always a balance of privacy vs investigation of crimes. This AG's actions steps way over a line that hasn't been the standard to cross. Medical records are very personal and to most people very private. Even if the AG's motives weren't a personal crusade, the idea of this medical records request is offensive to me as a patient and as a provider. The crimes supposedly being investigated most certainly don't warrant the this level of privacy invasion.

Makgraf
2005-Mar-06, 06:42 AM
Whew... there's still 2 more posts I have to respond to :o . I guess I'll do that tommorrow because I have a lot of reading to do tonight. Naw, you could just admit I'm right and that you agree. :D
Well that would be easier :D. In fact, I think we do agree about a lot of things. Also today is a lot later than the "tommorrow" mentioned in my post but an essay that unexpectedly came up in the meantime (how does an essay unexpected come up? Not pleasantly.)



I think he wants the sexual histories to find the rapists. If it turns out to be a "respected" person then all the better that he's been stopped. Whether trolling through her sexual histories is a good idea seems kinda in the air, but that's the reason why he wants them (why he wants the sexual histories of the late-term abortion women, I have no idea).Why is it better that we stop a respected person from comitting a crime? That could be taken to mean that we should prefer to prosecute some cases and not others based on the status of the defendant. A crime is a crime and a rape is a rape and they should be prosecuted no matter the respectibility of the defendant.
Well deterence for one. Aside from generating more publicity by the prosecution of someone famous you'll have people saying "Well if they could get him for that, they can get anyone!" This was (seemingly) the theory behind the prosecution of Martha Stewart. I doubt that the streets are that much more unsafe now that she's out, but convicting her sent a powerful message out there (even if, arguably, her initial "crime" wasn't that important).



But if the law is bad then the issue here is a bad law, not a privacy issue at all. If the law is bad then something that enforced it without invading privacy would still be bad.I disagree, or perhaps you misunderstood. The issue of privacy is independent of the goodness or badness of the law in question. Example: you may disagree with the criminality of statutory rape (bad law); you may agree with the criminality of violent rape; however, the method of obtaining evidence from medical records could be a violation of privacy in both cases.
I think we're just quoting the flip side of the same coin. I'm saying if the law is bad it's bad no matter how it's enforced. You're saying that the enforcement matters no matter how bad the law is. At the same time though, departing from general morality, I can see how people would say that even though the invasion of privacy is the same, it's better to obtain medical records to catch violent rapists over statutory rapists (or for that matter violent murderers, as the BTK killer was catch by obtaining medical records).



There's an old legal saying that hard cases make bad law. Throwing the slavery issue out there does make a powerful case that nullification is a good thing (another, albeit Goodwin's Lawish, example might have been about the Nazi laws). But these are both extreme cases. Abortion is a very strife-filled issue. So if we say it's okay for someone to nullify a law because of their moral support for abortion rights then it must be equally okay for someone to nullify a law because of their moral support against abortion. As WF Tomba said: "Legal actions shouldn't be based on what we believe; they should be based on what the law requires." Laws are imperfect, but they're the best thing society has to preserve itself against anarchy.However, laws are made by people based on what they believe (not always, but we pretend it's true). Most people don't obey laws because of the law, but because of the possible punishment (or reward). Law Enforcement is no different, they only arrest people when they feel they need or want to do such. Example: The law may require an officer to ticket everyone speeding over 55mph; but the officer only chooses to ticket someone speeding over 75; the officer used discretion and not only ignored the law, but nullified its 55mph limit and replaced it with a 75mph limit.
It seems to me that someone else should be trying to rebut this. The rap against the AG is that he's trying to impose his personal agenda in place of the law. In a later post beskeptical asks why he's looking into the medical records of one set of girls but not another. Sounds very similar to what you're describing.


BTW, I'm not so sure that laws protect society from anarchy. Look around... is the legislation of more laws creating more or less anarchy? Or forget anecdote and consider it mathematically: If more activities performed by persons are made illegal, then the performers of those activities suddenly become violators. If anarchy means not ruled by law, and a violation of law indicates a person moves from the side of society to the side of anarchy, then attempts to create laws cause a proportional response in the level of anarchy. Or in simpler terms: When guns are outlawed, only owtlaws will have guns. Ironically, most people think that statement is a gun-nut's mantra when it's really only an expression of a mathematical fact.
My orginal statement could also be seen as amathematical fact because it's a tautology: Because anarchy means the absence of laws, then the only defense against not having laws is having laws :). Still, I meant anarchy in a broader sense, of people running around doing bad uncontrollable things. Even though laws may be needed to protect us, it doesn't follow that more laws will protect us more. Indeed, as you point out, it can be the reverse. This was also my point about unenforced laws being a problem. The more laws there are, the more resources are needed to enforce them. If the increase in law is not matched by more resources or the political will to enforce them, then a climate of disrespect for law in general will be created. To use an example from my life, there is a drinking age in North America that varies from 18-21 (I don't know about Mexico). But crazily enough, there are still people who drink underage (including, at times, the daughters of The Leader Of The Free World). Now, crackdowns are very rare and as a result there is a whole section of the population that are outlaws (If underage drinking is outlawed, only outlaws will drink underage). Experiences in the '90's seems to have validated the "Broken Window Thesis", so it's clear that this pocket of outlawery can create other problems with law.

Makgraf
2005-Mar-06, 08:18 PM
I got the information from the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/25/national/25kansas.html?):

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.
So this could be a (pretty sleazy) attempt at political retribution. I could buy this as a motive if the records sought weren't so abortion related. A better guess would be the Dr knew this AG had an anti-abortion agenda to begin with and that's why the Dr donated to the opponent's campaign.
Well yeah. You don't donate hundreds of thousands of dollars against someone because you don't like their glasses. The question is whether the AG would have gone after him had he not donated.




And just what crime is this AG investigating? Failure of the clinic to report child abuse and/or statutory rape? The possibility some late term abortions didn't meet the AG's standard?
Yes. Except for I'd go with "Kansas law" rather than "AG's standard". And how many other clinics that don't perform abortions is the AG investigating for violations of the failure to report child abuse? And how many cases of failure to report child abuse is the AG investigating that don't involve either sexually active girls or abortions? Once again, why not look at underage boys treated for STDs or the birth records which list age of the mother? Who cares what the AG thinks of boys who have underage sex. You say it is the law the AG is following, not his personal agenda.
Well how do we know he's not going to? As the AG says here in this Opinion (2003-17) (http://www.kscourts.org/ksag/opinions/2003/2003-017.htm):

We are aware that although this opinion is limited to the question posed, the consequences of the conclusion reach further. Other situations that might trigger a mandated reporter's obligation, because sexual activity of a minor becomes known, include a teenage girl or boy who seeks medical attention for a sexually transmitted disease, a teenage girl who seeks medical attention for a pregnancy, or a teenage girl seeking birth control who discloses she has already been sexually active.
So why is he starting with abortion supoenas? Well (this is just a guess) but if you start with a crackdown on teen pregnancies that creates an incentive for abortions. If you start the abortion crackdown first, then you don't get that effect.




And these crimes are to be uncovered by invading the privacy of all the women who had legitimate late term abortions? Well let's just investigate all the patients of some chronic pain clinic. After all, some of the patients might have gotten narcotics for criteria the AG doesn't approve of. For that matter, let's investigate all the antibiotic prescriptions written in the last 5 years. The doctors could easily be prescribing drugs that aren't recommended just because the patient asks for them.Again this metaphor isn't accurate. One that would work is if the government were supoening records of all marijuana prescribed by the clinic (assuming it's allowed to). And in that case, yes the government should be able to do so.How is your metaphor not a fishing expedition? Why are my metaphors not relevant? I don't buy your position here and I doubt everyone else agrees with your interpretation as well. Perhaps we should see what others have to say.
I doubt everyone else agrees with my position as well. In fact I'm sure that there are some people who disagree with it (you, for example). Your metaphor isn't accurate becvause it's completely different. Having back pain is not illegal. The reason that my example fits is it's the same issue. Marijuana is illegal, but with exemptions (well not really, so I guess it's more of a thought experiment than an example). Now pot (i.e. abortion) is illegal in Kansas, but there is a defense if you have chronic back pain (i.e. health of the mother). So in that circumstance it wouldn't be a fishing expedition to check into everyone who was proscribed pot.




There seems to be willful ignoring here of the fact medical practice decisions have never been criminalized because of clinical decisions. Does anyone here want the AG deciding if your doctor made the correct diagnosis and treatment plan? I can guarantee you many medical providers who don't provide abortions will be fleeing Kansas if you want to criminalize their medical decisions.Never? What about Dr. Kevorkian? It's also a red herring in the case of the under 16's, because what was at fault there was failure to report. I listed the exception of the serial murderer. Kervorkian, another exception, made a public issue of his beliefs and challenged authorities to address his position. I see no evidence the clinic practitioners made some public statement they are going to perform any abortion anyone requested regardless of fetal age.
Okay so it's not "never" it's "rarely", got it. I may seem nitpicky here, but the reason is you're trying to beat me over the head with your medical position. Because I disagree with you, I must be "willful ignoring" the evidence. I'm just trying to show that there is another side to this. Also, for what it's worth, Tiller seems to be a pretty notorious provider of late-term abortions.


Now I have to get into the abortion issue but only as it relates to the supposed crimes committed that the AG supposedly is investigating. I think that a lot of non-providers are indeed misled by the anti-abortion rhetoric that "partial birth abortions" are not only occurring regularly but that providers are out there squishing fetal heads at the request of any person wishing an abortion. In reality, that is just not the case at all.
Well I agree with you on the partial-birth abortion issue. It was (is) essentially a non-issue that was blown up to try and get a exception to the right to choose. If abortion is okay in a circumstance, then it should be okay regardless of whether people think the procedure is "gross".


So now let's try to stay away from that discussion and get back to how it relates to the supposed crimes being investigated. Health care providers make clinical judgments all the time. They would naturally consider the mother and the fetus. They don't have some callous moral position that the mother is the only patient there. So when a late term abortion is requested because a pregnant woman put off coming in until it is late in a pregnancy, no provider is going to perform that abortion if the baby is going to be born alive and be very likely to survive. That provider would instead council that mother that it was too late. If it were a borderline case and the fetus was not going to survive easily a provider might go ahead but it would be based on a judgment call, not based on some pro-abortion stance.

What you are suggesting is not that the AG is investigating a crime, but that the AG is investigating a judgment call that provider made. We could go around and around on this so I am not going to repeat this point again.

I am a provider. While I work in infectious disease and not women's health, I do know full well what the situation is here. I don't see that you understand what my point is about day to day clinical judgment becoming something some AG or DA can decide is a criminal offense. I would leave Kansas or where ever if that were the case in my practice and I can say so would most other providers if they felt the same standard could be applied to them.

Think about it. If a surgeon amputates the wrong limb, is it criminal? If an assailant cut off a leg it certainly would be. What if the surgeon amputates a leg and it turns out it wasn't necessary? The Dr made a bad judgment call resulting in the equivalent of an assault on the patient/victim. If abortion was flat out illegal after x months gestation, you might have a more clear legal case. But that isn't the law, the law allows the practitioner to make a clinical judgment about the situation.

The way I see it, this AG would prefer no provider ever decided to perform a late term abortion and he is going to personally judge these practitioners' clinical judgment calls.
I certainly respect your position, but the government is already judging clinical judgment calls, through malpractice. If you don't go to court or you don't pay then the police will come out and you will be put in jail. Ironically, the Republicans are using your exact argument when it comes to non-abortion medical providers. This is also an issue distinct from privacy, because I take it you see criminalizing medical decisions as wrong even if no privacy is invaded to prove it.




And the failure to report supposed child abuse only involves pregnancies that were aborted? Well how about STDs and how about boys with STDs?If a 12 year old boy comes in who has gotten gonnorhea, then I think the police should be informed, just the same as if he was beaten. If they weren't, then yes, I think the government should subpoena the records. Well guess what? In my clinical judgment I would also report such a case. Surprise surprise, so would almost any provider, and certainly it would be the standard to report such a case. Once again, there is a distorted perception by many members of the public about just what providers are actually doing. A 12 year old girl with GC would get reported as well.
Whaaaaa? Okay so you agree that in cases like this, the police should be notified. But in this particular case, the police were not notified. It seems to me that the AG is just trying to fill in the gap here.




And BTW, no one prescribes BC pills to regulate anyone's periods. That practice hasn't been done in 30 years. There is some marketing of the pills for acne but I doubt many providers would write a prescription for acne treatment alone.
So I am an idiot? Do I have misconceptions (BTW, congrats on another pun)? Well here's the thing, I know people who are on the birth control pill to regulate their period. Of course they could be lying and I'm not an expert in medicine after all. My mother, however, is. I asked her if there were any other uses for the birth control pill and she told me it could be used to "regulate the menstrual cycle, to treat bad cramps, if someone has really heavy periods, for acne, even to regulate mood, if someone gets really depressed before their period". In fact, she prescribed it today to someone for a non-birth control related reason. So I think my analogy holds.To my knowledge it is no longer considered acceptable medical practice. I can't and won't speak for anyone else's clinical judgment.
Well the issue here is you basically said I'm an idiot because I thought that their were non-birth control uses of the birth control pill. And then it turns out that it is in fact used in other ways. You don't even have to take my family's word for it: For example, check this (http://my.webmd.com/hw/abnormal_uterine_bleeding/aa76693.asp). Or just call your local chapter of Planned Parenthood or your local teen clinic and I'm sure they'll tell you the same thing.



I was just saying why he might want to concentrate on prosecuting rapists of underage girls as opposed to boys. As far as whether they should check into STDs amongst underage boys I already answered that question. I don't think it's been established, let alone "clearly established", that this guy is being motivated from a "personal [anti-]abortion agenda". Brady, jt-3d and I have postulated various other reasons from upholding Kansas law to personal revenge. I mean he could be on a personal witch hunt. I've never met the guy nor have I read his mind so I really have no idea what goes on in there.Well I see an elephant in the room and no 'postulated reasons' supported by any evidence. Again, no since repeating ourselves.
Well okay, but I don't any conclusive evidence that your theories are better than my theories. In fact, I'm quite doubtful that it'll ever surface because so much is based on what's in the AG's head.







I say this because in my own state of SC, in 2000 (last year of available stats) there were 10,732 pregnancies for girls aged 10-19 (sorry, finer breakdown on age groups). This is a considerably higher teen pregnancy rate than the overall US rate of 21.3/1000. And of those 10,732 pregnancies, 8,565 (or 79.8%) resulted in live births, 2,060 (or 19.1%) ended in abortions, and there were 107 fetal deaths. So when somebody can show me that they're going after the 80% that it's easy to get information on, and succeeding, then maybe, maybe, MAYBE I'm willing to look that the idea of opening up private medical files on a limited basis. Not before.These stats don't mean anything though because they include the 17-19 non-statutory rape births, which I'd assume would be a good chunk of them. So we have no idea if the 80% would hold for the 10-16 bracket. Yes we do. We know it's a big enough number your argument discounting the data is a straw man.How is a "straw man"? Again we may be running into definition problems here but I always thought a "straw man argument" was mischacterizing your opponant's argument and then demolishing this straw man you've constructed ("Well maybe you're in favour in child abuse, but that's bad for the children!"). I'm just pointing out that these stats don't really mean anything and only serve to tart up an argument with mathmatical psuedo-certainity. Now the National Campaign To End Teen Pregnancy has a chart (http://www.teenpregnancy.org/america/stateSummary.asp?stateId=43) about the number of teen births in South Carolina:

Number of Teen Births by Age, 2002 [in South Carolina]
Girls Under 15: 19 (0%)

Girls 15-17: 2,384 (32%)

Girls 18-19: 4,943 (67%)

Total 7,346 100%
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2004). 2002 natality data set [CD-ROM]. CD-ROM Series, 21(16).
I have no idea how reliable the NCTETP is (or if that is indeed their acronym) but I think the the HHS Department should know what they're talking about. Because the number of births is clustered in the legal ages, we have no way of knowing if they're skewing the % of abortions down. Well actually, we do because the south carolina branch (www.teenpregnancysc.org/pdf/2004_Fact_Sheet.pdf) of that organization compiled the data and turns out that abortion rate is 20% ± 2.5% in both cases (thought the abortion rate is lower in the legal section).The point was, one could get the information on which 'boyfriends' to hunt down and prosecute for statutory rape from either the live birth records or the clinic records. And the live birth records would include 80% of the cases. Plus, it would include pregnant girls seen by all providers not just the providers who also performed abortions.

You claimed the numbers were not relevant without being broken down by age. But you didn't address the question of why not look at birth records. Then your own data said the 20% abortion rate did hold for the under 15 kids. And you still don't address why not get the information from a readily available public source instead of confidential clinical records? And why single out these providers as if they are the only clinic in the state that sees pregnant teens.
I was making another point up there (not well, it would seem). Too often people just throw in numbers into their arguments just for the sake of having them in. When I saw those numbers, I thought, "wouldn't the abortion rate be higher in the under-16ers because of the social stigma". As it turned out, yes, but not by very much. Basically, it would have been nice if the original poster had taken the extra time to track down the seperated age numbers. The public sources answer is above.


Just an FYI on the numbers:

19 seems to be a pretty low total for girls under age 15 that had live births in any state in the US in any year, but I have to assume it is correct.

Here is different data that includes a denominator. It isn't broken down by state, but these rates are per 1,000 kids age 10 years to 14 years. To extrapolate from this data, it implies there are only 0.7 x 19 x 1,000 = 13,300 kids aged 10-14 in SC. Seems a bit low but I don't know the total population of the state.


Live births per 1,000 children aged 10 to 14 years old in the USA by year. (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus04trend.pdf#003)

1950 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.0
1960 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.8
1970 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.2
1980 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.1
1985 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.2
1990 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.4
1995 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.3
1998 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.0
1999 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.9
2000 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.9
2001 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.8
2002 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.7

Hmm... there does seem to be a problem with the numbers as my site lists 301,150 children 10-14 in SC. Which would make 240ish live births. The odd thing is that my page cites the same cdc report that you have, and gives a 10-14 birth rate of 1 (.7 rounded up). I sent them an e-mail asking them to explain the difference.



Makgraf, what is your position here in a nutshell? This AG had some specific evidence of a crime and is investigating specific crimes? And what do you suppose that evidence might be? It seems pretty broad looking at abortion records and teenage girl's sexual histories. Given there have been other attempts to obtain 'all' late term abortion records of hospitals I'd say this tactic is not this AG's original idea. And I'd say it's pretty obvious what is going on here. You can pretend that isn't the motive and claim it's all some legal investigation but where is your evidence this guy isn't on an anti-abortion crusade?
I'm not "pretending" anything about this guy's motives. I honestly don't know what they are. What I'm trying to show is that there are other motives that are possible. My position in a nutshell is that in the investigation of crimes, privacy gets sacrificed (for example, you support DNA registries). In these particular case, with the evidence we have, it seems that this could be the case of a man trying to uphold the law.There is always a balance of privacy vs investigation of crimes. This AG's actions steps way over a line that hasn't been the standard to cross. Medical records are very personal and to most people very private. Even if the AG's motives weren't a personal crusade, the idea of this medical records request is offensive to me as a patient and as a provider. The crimes supposedly being investigated most certainly don't warrant the this level of privacy invasion.
Now we come to the crux of the matter. We have each drawn a line in the sand about the appropriate level of privacy invasion. Unfortunately, neither of us can "win" this, because you can't persuade someone their moral principles are wrong. I suspect this is why political discussions are banned because they can lead to at best case scenario an agree-to-disagree and at worst a flame war. Still I think it was very useful, at least to me, in helping me clarify some of my positions to myself and question some of them as well.

I'll be honest, this isn't really an issue I care that much about. I just jumped in because I was kinda annoyed by the political/non-political distinctions some people make and then stayed in because if I left I'd be conceeding defeat.