Kansas Judge Will Rule in Two Weeks on Charges Against Abortion Practitioner
by Steven Ertelt
July 16, 2008
Wichita, KS (LifeNews.com) — Kansas judge says he will rule within two weeks on whether to dismiss the charges the state attorney general has filed against late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller. Sedgwick County District Judge Clark Owens plans to issue a decision prior to the scheduled July 29 conference with attorneys.
Former attorney general Paul Morrison filed the charges against Tiller, saying he violated state law requiring a second physician to sign off on the validity of the late-term abortions.
Tiller allegedly has violated the component of the states late-term abortion law requiring the abortion practitioner not to have a relationship with the second physician.
Tiller previously used a second doctor — Ann Kristin Neuhaus — with whom he has a financial relationship.
The second physician is supposed to validate whether the mother will face "substantial and irreversible" harm to "a major bodily function" without the abortion.
Tillers lawyers are challenging the late-term abortion law saying the requirement for an independent second physician is unconstitutional and that it allegedly infringes on womens so-called abortion rights.
Their request to dismiss the case on constitutional grounds has been pending since a November hearing.
Also pending is a motion from Tiller’s defense to limit the number of jurors hearing the case. State law limits the juries in such cases to six members and his attorneys have requested twelve. However, Kansas attorneys say the law makes no mention of jury size.
According to an AP report, Judge Owens said he wasn’t ready to move forward with the case because the attorneys involved were busy with the grand jury.
Called by Kansans for Life, the jury did not indict Tiller but the pro-life group contends that’s because they weren’t given full information.
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