Doctor’s remaining abortion records in safe place, state says

A Kansas doctor who tossed hundreds of women’s abortion records into a recycling bin has now placed his remaining records in a secure location away from his home, a state health agency confirmed Thursday.

The Kansas Board of Healing Arts is working with the physician, Krishna Rajanna of Overland Park, to obtain custody of his remaining paper records for storage and, eventually, destruction.

“We have verified that they are secure,” said the board’s counsel, Kelli Stevens. “We are working with him to resolve custody of those records.”

Stevens said Rajanna is being “very cooperative,” but a court proceeding will be necessary to gain custody of the records. Stevens declined to say where the records are being kept.

“What we would foresee is doing an agreed-upon court order and getting that approved by a judge,” Stevens said.

Rajanna, 74, is the former director of a now-defunct clinic, Affordable Medical and Services in Kansas City, Kan. He conceded that on March 23 he dumped what he thought were the records of hundreds of women who had received abortion services at his clinic in 2001 and 2002 into a public recycling bin in front of Brookridge Elementary School.

The school, at 9920 Lowell Ave. in Overland Park, is a few blocks from the doctor’s home.

Rajanna could not be reached for comment Thursday.

In previous interviews with The Star, Rajanna said he regretted his action. He said that he did not want to incinerate the records because of concerns about the environment. He said he thought the records would be recycled immediately and that no one would have access to them.

Rajanna’s medical license was revoked in 2005. His clinic closed the same year. He had been fined four times previously by the state board for not keeping a hygienic clinic.

The existence of the records came to public attention after a call to The Star from a woman whose mother had seen the records in the bin and became concerned. The Star retrieved the records of more than 1,000 women who had received abortion services from the clinic and turned those records over to the board of healing arts.

The records contained deeply personal information: patients’ names, addresses, Social Security numbers and health information, including any previous abortions.

Although Rajanna told The Star he thought all the records were older than 10 years and, as such, were eligible to be disposed of in accordance with state law, a brief examination found that hundreds of the records were not old enough to be destroyed.

Stevens said a few women had called the board regarding their records.

“We have had only a few patients contact us,” she said. “Eventually, what we would anticipate, is overseeing the destruction of the records older than 10 years old.”