by Steven Ertelt
April 5, 2006
Wichita, KS (LifeNews.com) — The death of a mentally disabled teenager who traveled to Kansas for a late-term abortion may be subject to a grand jury investigation. After a Kansas medical agency declined to hold abortion practitioner George Tiller accountable for the death of Christin Gilbert, a grassroots petition drive has collected seven thousand signatures for hearings.
The petition drive is taking advantage of a little used Kansas law allowing state residents to call for a grand jury investigation.
Gilbert’s family members and pro-life advocates put the petition drive together and plan to present Sedgwick County officials their signatures on Friday.
Tiller’s office and Julie Burkhart, a spokeswoman for the late-term abortion center and head of the pro-abrotion political action committee Pro Kan Do said they could not yet comment on the matter.
David Gittrich, state development director for Kansans for Life, suggested using the law to help obtain justice for Gilbert.
If the signatures are valid, a Sedgwick County judge will determine if the petitions are sufficient to convene a grand jury. The grand jury will decide whether to indict anyone.
According to Kansas law, a grand jury must convene within 60 days of the submission of a required number of signatures of registered voters.
Christin Gilbert, who was 19, died after a third-trimester abortion in January 2005. She was 28 weeks pregnant at the time.
Gilbert was rushed into the Wesley Medical Center ER, followed by Tiller moments later. In November, the Kansas Board of Healing Arts claimed neither he nor his staff were responsible for the botched abortion death and refused to press charges.
After investigating the case, the Kansas medical board determined that Tiller complied with state laws and health care standards in his treatment of the woman, despite eventually killing her.
Though her parents took her for the abortion, another member of Gilbert’s family said she would not have wanted the abortion.
Gilbert suffered complications during her abortion that were not fully diagnosed, an autopsy concluded.
In Tarrant County, Texas, where Gilbert lived, a Grand Jury convened last year to probe allegations of felony sexual assault that led to Gilbert’s pregnancy. It is still investigating.
Cheryl Sullenger, of Operation Rescue, explained that Tiller sent Gilbert to a local hotel after the abortion "even though her condition was worsening" following the botched abortion.
"I believe that every Kansan should be concerned about the Board being unwilling to do their job to police the medical profession and protect the health and safety of patients. Because they steadfastly refuse to do their jobs, all Kansans are at risk," she explained.
Related web sites:
Justice for Christin – https://justiceforchristin.com