by Steven Ertelt
August 21, 2007
Wichita, KS (LifeNews.com) — Infamous late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller currently faces 19 misdemeanor charges that he did illegal late-term abortions without consulting a second, independent physician beforehand. But those legal troubles aren’t the reason his abortion business has been closed for the last few weeks.
Julie Burkhart, executive director of ProKanDo, a pro-abortion political action committee affiliated with Tiller, says Tiller’s abortion business was closed for other reasons.
She said that the facility has been closed because of a July 4 incident of vandalism and that it reopened on Monday.
The vandals, who have not been apprehended, drilled a hole in the roof of the abortion facility and inserted a garden hose and then glued the water spigot open, Burkhart told the Wichita Eagle newspaper.
She explained that the vandalism wound up flooding one room of the facility and that it had to be closed to repair the damages.
“It was a bit of a problem,” she told the newspaper, adding that it also caused mold and mildew in the facility.
In addition, the perpetrators tried to seal the gate to the parking lot shut so no one could enter it. Firemen were able to gain access through the gate before the sealant dried.
Meanwhile, Tiller’s attorneys said in a statement that Tiller’s office was temporarily closed “to make absolutely certain that these acts of sabotage have not created any physical or medical risks to his patients.”
Pro-life groups typically condemn such illegal or violent actions and one leading pro-life observer told LifeNews.com that someone who opposes abortion may not have been responsible.
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told LifeNews.com that someone affiliated with Tiller’s abortion center may have caused the vandalism to try to take the spotlight off the investigation by Attorney General Paul Morrison into the potentially illegal abortions or to engender public sympathy.
The vandalism could have been done by someone affiliated with Tiller to damage other files at his office that could show more violations.
As the first response to the new charges, attorneys for Tiller have filed a lawsuit claiming the Kansas law is unconstitutional. Tiller’s attorneys argue that the provision of the law that requires two or more doctors to sign off on late-term abortions is invalid.
Morrison filed charges alleging that, before performing 19 late-term abortions in 2003, Tiller received a second opinion from abortion practitioner Ann Kristin Neuhaus, who Morrison said had financial ties with Tiller.
A 1998 Kansas law says that before an abortion of a baby 21 weeks or older, two physicians must determine if continuation of a pregnancy will lead to death or "substantial and irreversible" harm to a "major bodily function."
The consulting doctor can have no financial or legal ties to the abortion practitioner.