by Steven Ertelt
April 10, 2007
Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius is under fire from pro-life advocates again. This time she’s drawing criticism for appointing a former attorney for a late-term abortion practitioner who was charged with doing illegal abortions to a state panel reviewing sentencing policies.
Wichita attorney Dan Monnat represented abortion practitioner George Tiller against charges filed by former Attorney General Phill Kline alleging that he violated state laws on late-term abortions.
Kline said Tiller did abortions for nonmedical and non-legitimate reasons instead of doing them as a result of a medical emergency, which the state requires for them to be legal.
Sebelius appointed Monnat to the Kansas Sentencing Commission even though a donation he made to the judge who dismissed 30 criminal charges against Tiller. A state ethics complaint about the connection is pending.
Monnat will serve on the 17-member commission with Attorney General Paul Morrison, who is pro-abortion and refused to continue Kline’s case against Tiller.
Pro-life groups worry that Monnat will revise sentencing laws in a way that will help Tiller, who also escaped prosecution in the botched abortion death of mentally disabled teenager Cristin Gilbert, avoid following state laws.
"It’s one of those things that makes you go, ‘Hmm,’" Mary Kay Culp, Kansans for Life’s executive director, told AP. "It’s beginning to make ‘The Sopranos’ look like ‘The Brady Bunch.’"
Operation Rescue President Troy Newman agreed and told LifeNews.com, "This appointment obviously smacks of political payback."
"It is very clear that the governor is thumbing her nose at those who are trying to restore some semblance of honesty to the system," Newman added.
In comments to AP, Monnat dismissed the concerns and attacked the members of the pro-life groups, calling their worries "zany conspiracy theories," and "crackpot extremist" groups.
Sebelius spokeswoman Nicole Corcoran responded as well and said, "That’s just so bogus, it kills me."
Culp said the appointment is surprising because the governor has hundreds of attorneys from which to choose, including many who have significant criminal law experience.
"It bugs me because there’s an awful lot of lawyers in Kansas, and it’s interesting that one of Dr. Tiller’s main lawyers would be chosen," she said. "It’s frightening how cozy all these people are."
Related web sites:
Kansans for Life – https://www.kfl.org