by Steven Ertelt
August 7, 2007
Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — A leading pro-life legal group has filed an amicus brief in the case the state of Kansas has against Wichita late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller. Tiller’s lawyers filed suit saying a law related to late-term abortions is unconstitutional but attorneys for Americans United for Life say the law is legitimate.
Attorney General Paul Morrison has charged Tiller with 19 misdemeanor counts of violating a law that requires two or more doctors to sign off on late-term abortions.
The law requires that the second doctor not have any financial ties to the abortion practitioner, but Tiller received a second opinion in 19 abortion cases from abortion practitioner Ann Kristin Neuhaus, who Morrison said had financial ties with Tiller.
Tiller’s lawyers say the provision is invalid, but AUL attorneys filed an amicus curiae brief in the case on behalf of twenty Kansas senators and representatives saying it’s not.
The pro-life group cites U.S. Supreme Court precedent — particularly in Casey (1992) and Gonzales (2007) — as supporting the Kansas statute.
The Casey case upheld several abortion limitations in Pennsylvania and the Gonzales case upheld the national ban on partial-birth abortions. In the latter case, Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, said states have a right to pass laws that put limits on abortions.
According to AUL attorney Mailee Smith, lead counsel on the brief, "States have a substantial interest in unborn children once those children reach viability — and any increased cost, delay, or difficulty in obtaining an abortion under the Kansas statute is not an undue burden."
"Kansas is not alone in requiring some form of physician concurrence for late term abortions: at least 11 other states require it in the abortion context," Smith told LifeNews.com.
Any claim that precedent does not support the Kansas statute is inappropriate, misapplied, and out of date according to Smith.
"From all accounts, Tiller is focusing on outdated cases and is ignoring that states have substantial interests in the unborn once those children reach viability," Smith explained.
"A second physician requirement ensures that a woman receives an accurate medical evaluation from a physician other than the one who stands to benefit financially from her abortion," Smith concludes. "Tiller has been evading the law for years. Now that he has been brought up on criminal charges, he is still trying to evade the law. Fortunately, the law is not on his side."
Related web sites:
Americans United for Life – https://www.AUL.org