Kansas Supreme Court Holds Hearing on Grand Jury’s Abortion Subpoenas

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 9, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Kansas Supreme Court Holds Hearing on Grand Jury’s Abortion Subpoenas Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
April 9
, 2008

Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — The Kansas Supreme Court held a hearing on Tuesday on a request from attorneys for the state and late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller to quash the subpoenas a grand jury has issued for abortion records to determine if Tiller broke state abortion laws.

Tiller wants two subpoenas stopped that could require him to turn over the redacted files of 2,000 abortions covering several years and allegations he didn’t assess the viability of the unborn child beforehand or consult a second physician.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Stephen Six is asking the high court to stop a third subpoena asking him to turn over 60 redacted abortion records related to another Tiller probe that could help the grand jury.

On the other side, an attorney for the grand jury and for two county judges supervising the panel told the members of the Kansas Supreme Court that the grand jury has not overstepped its bounds in asking for the records.

The court did not issue a decision after the hearing and set no date for a ruling, but pro-life advocates hope it will return a decision soon because the grand jury is set to expire on July 7.

Kansans for Life director Mary Kay Culp talked with LifeNews.com about the hearing and said the biggest irony was when Tiller’s attorney repeatedly asked the high court to hold the grand jury accountable yet he won’t allow Kansas officials to hold Tiller accountable.

"Every time a legitimate investigatory agency or law enforcement attempts to investigate Tiller, he runs to the courts and asks them to build a wall between investigators and his records,” Culp said.

Culp said Tiller’s attorneys continue to assert false privacy concerns even though the information in the records is redacted and doesn’t contain any identifying information.

"So the Court must decide: Who deserves more protection: The person being investigated for potential law breaking or those who would investigate whether or not the law was indeed broken?" Culp concluded.

Yesterday, Kansans for Life held a press conference with a woman who had an abortion at Tiller’s center and later found her abortion records didn’t match the actual medical information about her and her unborn child.