A Johnson County judge has tossed-out 49 of the most serious felony charges against Planned Parenthood after it was revealed that many of the key documents in the case had been destroyed.
Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe said that the lack of evidence forced him to seek dismissal for the charges, including falsifying abortion records. Howe says that the Kansas Department of Health shredded the documents, a move that lawyers for Planned Parenthood say was mandated under state regulations.
Some abortion opponents claim that the documents were deliberately destroyed for political reasons under the administration of Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, while some abortion rights advocates say that the charges themselves are politically motivated by abortion opponents.
Planned Parenthood still faces 58 lesser charges, accusing the Overland Park clinic of not following Kansas laws covering late-term abortion.
Planned Parenthood denies any wrongdoing in the case.