by Steven Ertelt
July 3, 2007
Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — The top attorney in Kansas may be pursuing some charges against late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller but leading pro-life advocates there say the Wichita-abortion business owner is getting off easy. Last week, Attorney General Paul Morrison confirmed he will pursue 19 misdemeanor charges against Tiller.
The charges are connected to allegedly illegal late-term abortions Tiller did in violation of a state law. Tiller could face 19 years in prison for doing the abortions in cases where he did not have an independent, consulting physician approve them.
On Thursday, Morrison said he described the allegations as a “technical violation” of a 1998 law saying the abortions can only be done for legitimate health reasons and require two doctors to validate.
Morrison said he and his staff "found a pattern of referrals from one physician" for the abortions when two doctors are supposed to sign off on whether the abortion meets the legal criteria of a “substantial and irreversible” harm to “a major bodily function" of the woman in question.
He said he would prosecute Tiller for not using a second physician but not for doing the abortions outside the health requirements of the law.
Mary Kay Culp, the director of Kansans for Life, tells LifeNews.com that Morrison did not do enough to prosecute Tiller for the illegal abortions.
She called Morrison’s keeping some charges originally filed by former Attorney General Phill Kline and dropping more serious ones a "bizarre interpretation of Kansas abortion law."
The more serious charges Morrison dropped, the ones involving doing the abortions for non-legitimate reasons, are the ones he should have kept, Culp said.
"Those charges were that he performs abortions on babies at a stage where they could already live outside the womb for reasons less serious, and perhaps much less serious than those outlined in Kansas law," she said.
"The law was specifically designed to protect the public from an industry that, while medical in nature, is most often sold as a commodity rather than as a medical necessity," Culp added.
Culp said the charges are also bizarre because Tiller used an abortion practitioner with whom he has financial ties, Kristin Neuhaus, to sign off on the abortions.
"If Tiller were aborting these viable babies for the serious reasons demanded by Kansas law, why did he not use a regular doctor to sign the form?," Culp told LifeNews.com. "Why, instead, did he repeatedly utilize Neuhaus, a fellow abortionist who has twice been called a public danger by the Kansas Medical Board of Healing Arts?"
"By failing to uphold the most serious charges against Tiller, Morrison is protecting Tiller rather than the people of Kansas," she concluded.
Culp also said that the charges are in connection with abortions done in 2003 but that independent special prosecutor needs to be assigned who can look at records for 2004-2006, and finish the investigation.
Related web sites:
Kansans for Life – https://www.kfl.org