by Steven Ertelt
March 27, 2007
Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — A Kansas state legislative committee approved a measure yesterday that would bring back the illegal abortion charges former Attorney General Phill Kline filed against Wichita-based late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller. He had been accused of doing abortions late in pregnancy in violation of state law.
Kline filed the charges against Tiller last year saying that he performed illegal late-term abortions for reasons such as "depression" rather than legitimate emergency medical concerns.
The House Federal and State Affairs Committee approved a resolution that takes advantage of a little-known Kansas statute authorizing the state legislature to direct the attorney general to file charges.
The 12-8 vote essentially tells new Attorney General Paul Morrison to reinstate the 30 misdemeanor criminal charges. Morrison said he is reviewing the case but did not actively oppose a local court’s decision to dismiss the charges on jurisdictional grounds.
Kline filed a new set of charges in Sedgwick County in December, but District Judge Paul W. Clark, who had received campaign donations from Tiller’s attorney and Sedgwick County District Attorney Nola Foulston, who urged the dismissal, removed them.
Pro-life groups have filed a complaint about the donations. state2180.html
The measure now goes to the full House of Representatives for its consideration and pro-life groups, led by Kansans for Life, are urging lawmakers to support it.
KFL is holding a rally and press conference today "to encourage the Kansas House of Representatives to do everything possible to insure that the charges brought against late-term abortionist George Tiller of Wichita" are reinstated.
"The purpose of today’s rally is to remind them not only to craft just laws, but also to flex their Constitutional powers when those laws are subverted," KFL director Mary Kay Culp told LifeNews.com.
Kline joined pro-life advocates and dozens of pastors at a press conference last week and said the charges are still appropriate.
“I don’t think it is right to be let go,” Kline said of their case and noted that two judges said it was likely that crimes were committed in the allegedly illegal abortions.
Passage of the resolution is needed in only one branch of the legislature directing the attorney general to prosecute the case, and would not require the approval of the governor.
According to K.S.A. 75-702, the attorney general must appear on behalf of the state when "required by the governor or either branch of the legislature" to "prosecute or defend, in any other court or before any officer, in any cause or matter, civil or criminal, in which this state may be a party or interested."
The law mandates pursuance of such cases all the way to the Kansas Supreme Court.
Related web sites:
Kansans for Life – https://www.kfl.org