by Steven Ertelt
June 14, 2007
Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — Kansas Attorney General Paul Morrison is upset that a prominent psychologist who reviewed records of late-term abortions is speaking to the media about them and is demanding that he stop. Dr. Paul McHugh discussed the records associated with a misdemeanor charges filed and dismissed against late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller.
Tiller had been charged with doing illegal abortions contrary to Kansas law, which requires they only be done in very serious medical conditions.
According to the analysis McHugh provided, the late-term abortions were done for illegal reasons with most all of the women citing various social reasons for the abortions that he said could be easily remedied.
McHugh, a former Johns Hopkins University professor, said Tiller used only mental health reasons to justify 15 abortions done in 2003 and he reviewed the records at the request of former attorney general Phill Kline. The state attorney had filed the misdemeanor charges, which a court subsequently dropped on jurisdictional grounds.
Following McHugh’s comments on the records, Morrison sent him a letter telling him the remarks are hurting his continuing investigation into Tiller’s late-term abortions. He added that the comments violated the privacy rights of the women involved in the abortions.
Moreover, Morrison threatened to file a lawsuit against McHugh and to recover the $5,000 he was paid to review the records and to get the state of Maryland to take action against him.
"You have chosen to engage in a politically-driven media campaign," Morrison wrote, according to an Associated Press report. "Your actions do a disservice to you, Johns Hopkins and your profession."
Morrison also threatened to remove McHugh from the list of witnesses in the case.
Mary Kay Culp, executive director of Kansans for Life, said she was very disappointed by Morrison’s letter and called it "marching all over the First Amendment” by trampling on his free speech rights.
“"This is an outrage and illustrates the lengths the Dr. Tiller and AG Morrison will go to cover up the truth,” she told LifeNews.com. “Tiller and his lawyers are surely at their shrillest right now and those who have benefited from his massive financial involvement in Kansas politics have been given their marching orders, and marching they are — all over the First Amendment.”
McHugh also said that the abortion records indicated the women involved did not receive complete examinations
"The remarkable thing was they were all the same. These were very brief files," McHugh told AP and added that he thought doing late-term abortions on women presented its own mental health concerns.
"Lots of psychiatrists, including me, do not believe there are any pure psychiatric reasons that justify abortion," McHugh said. "Abortion has – especially with a viable fetus – its own trauma, and there would be other psychological complications."