A Kansas-based abortion practitioner was stripped of her medical license after state officials learned that she had been violating Kansas abortion law when working with late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller.
In February, a judge ordered the revocation of the medical license of abortion practitioner Ann Kristin Neuhaus, stating that Neuhaus’ practice of providing late-term abortion referrals to George Tiller was “professionally incompetent” and constituted “unprofessional conduct.”
Kansas abortion law requires a second physician in a late-term abortion situation verify that the pregnancy met the strict exceptions to the Kansas ban on post-viability abortions. State law also requires a second physician have no financial links to the primary abortion practitioner.
Today, the State Board of Healing Arts ratified an administrative judge’s earlier decision and Reese Hays, the attorney on the board’s litigation team who presented the case against Neuhaus, told AP, “Her actions clearly show a disregard for her patients’ safety and care, which causes her to be a threat to any future patients she might have.”
Neuhaus said she’ll ask the state’s courts to overturn the board’s decision and told AP she thinks is more about abortion politics than her actions violating Kansas law.
“It’s all about abortion rights, absolutely,” she said after the board’s decision. “If this wasn’t in the Bible Belt, I think this wouldn’t even be happening.”
In a complaint filed by Operation Rescue, Neuhaus was accused of the following in each of the eleven counts against her: failure to perform adequate patient interview, failure to obtain adequate patient history, failure to adequately evaluate the “behavioral or functional impact” of the patient’s condition and symptoms, failure, to meet the standard of care to the degree of constituting ordinary negligence, and failure to keep adequate medical records.
The board filed an eleven-count recommendation in 2010 because Neuhaus provided the second physician referral for all of Tiller’s abortions for several years and patients involved in the complaint range in age from 10-18 years old with gestational ages between 25 and 29 weeks. All eleven patients were referred to Tiller for post-viability abortions based on mental health concerns between July and November, 2003.
Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue and Pro-Life Nation, said after the initial February ruling he is glad the abortion practitioner lost her license.
“Based on the Board’s initial order, we have no doubt that George Tiller conducted illegal abortions, knowing fully that Neuhaus issued mental health diagnoses to support late-term abortions without having seen the patient or after an inadequate consultation with the patient that did not include a proper mental health evaluation,” he said.
Newman added, “Had Tiller lived, it is certain that his medical license would also have been revoked since he faced a similar complaint petition based on the same eleven patient files. The decision to revoke Neuhaus’ license vindicates ten years of our work in Kansas and proves that we were correct in our allegations that Tiller was doing illegal abortions.”
Kansans for Life has also been putting significant pressure on disciplining Neuhaus and the group’s director Mary Kay Culp told LifeNews in February: “For almost twenty years, Kansans for Life has provided research, evidence and petitions trying to protect the public from this woman, whom the Board itself twice referred to as a danger to the public. We applaud the hearing officer’s decision and look forward to affirmation by the current board who would be hard pressed to reach any other conclusion given the crushing evidence against her.”
The eleven counts against Neuhaus were based on eleven patient records involving girls between the ages of 10-18 who received post-viability abortions in 2003 at Tiller’s now closed abortion clinic in Wichita, Kansas.
Administrative Judge Edward J. Gaschler, who wrote the Board’s initial order, indicated there was no evidence that Neuhaus ever saw many of the patients she referred for post-viability abortions.
In addition, there was no evidence that she conducted proper mental health evaluations. Neuhaus used a computer program called Psychmanager Lite to input answers to “yes or no” questions to generate diagnoses in spite of warnings from the program manufacturer not to rely on the program without conducting evaluations that Neuhaus failed to perform.
Newman said dates on the computer printouts, indicate that the dubious diagnoses were made days or weeks after the abortions were begun.
Neuhaus’s initial order will be taken up by the full Board at their April meeting where it is expected to be finalized.
This was not Neuhaus’ first encounter with the KSBHA. Neuhaus came under Board discipline in 1999 and again in 2001 for medical abuses, which included an alleged forced abortion on a woman who had withdrawn her consent, shoddy record-keeping, and lack of proper patient care. The KSBHA declared at that time that Neuhaus was a “danger to the public” and limited her ability to practice medicine.
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Neuhaus quit as the abortion practitioner at the now-closed Central Women’s Services in 2001. Operation Rescue later bought the building, refurbished it, and now serves as OR’s national headquarters. Neuhaus then closed her Lawrence abortion center in 2003 and, soon after, went to work providing consultations for Tiller’s late-term abortion patients.
Tiller was acquitted of criminal charges in March 2009, but the medical board was pursuing an 11-count disciplinary petition against Tiller based on Sullenger’s complaint at the time of his death.