26 charges against Kan. abortion clinic dismissed

A Kansas judge has dismissed 26 misdemeanor charges against a Kansas City-area Planned Parenthood clinic, narrowing a criminal case over allegations it performed illegal late-term abortions.

Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe confirmed Thursday night that District Judge Stephen Tatum signed an order earlier in the day at Howe's request. Tatum's action is noted in online court records, but without any details.

Attorneys for the Planned Parenthood clinic in Overland Park had requested in March to have the same charges dismissed. The clinic's attorneys argued the charges — covering 13 abortions in 2003 — were filed beyond a two-year deadline for pursuing charges then in effect.

Howe agreed.

Howe's predecessor filed 107 charges in October 2007. Tatum dismissed 49 of them, including 23 felonies, in November. Thirty-two misdemeanors remain.